Traffic lights for tailback junction

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A BOTTLENECK road-junction in the Dispatch district is to get traffic lights at last — in a bid to ease tailbacks that have long been the bane of motorists’ lives.

Drivers are often left waiting in backlogs during peak times at the Forest Lane junction with the A60 Mansfield Road on the outskirts of Papplewick.

It is one of the busiest traffic spots in the whole of Nottinghamshire, with queues often topping 60 vehicles.

The frustration caused to motorists has also resulted in the junction suffering a higher-than-average number of accidents.

Now Notts County Council has announced that £490,000 is to be spent on the traffic blackspot.

The council is paying out £170,000 towards the substantial costs from its local transport plan budget.

Extra funding — to the tune of £320,000 — is coming from the government’s Growth Point Initiative, which is designed to provide support to local communities.

Coun Richard Jackson (Con), lead member for transport and highways at County Hall, said: “The county council has been keen to put up traffic lights at the junction for some time but has been unable to do so because of the cost.

“The A60 is the main route from Nottingham to Mansfield and, as such, carries high volumes of traffic, especially during the morning and evening rush-hours.

“The upgrade to the junction will improve the flow of traffic there and should drastically reduce the number of accidents on this stretch.”

Between 2004 and 2010, there were 17 accidents recorded at the junction. Most of these involved motorists turning right out of Forest Lane towards Burntstump Hill and colliding with northbound vehicles.

A campaign for improvements at the junction has involved Coun Chris Barnfather (Con), who is the county councillor for Papplewick, local parish councils and residents.

A Dispatch news-story last December revealed plans for the road improvements at a spot Coun Barnfather described as “a nightmare”.

Work is scheduled to start on Sunday October 16.