Will new road boost Hucknall town centre?

Work on Annesley Road, Hucknall
Work on Annesley Road, Hucknall

A new road in Hucknall will have its official opening next week, marking the latest step in a £12.5 million scheme to improve the town centre.

The road, linking Annesley Road and Baker Street with Station Road, is part of a project started in January this year, which will ultimately see the High Street pedestrianised between Baker Street and Watnall Road, by early summer 2017.

A special ceremony will be held to mark the opening of the road on Friday, November 25, and it will open for public use from Monday, November 28, with changes to the 141, Amberline and “The Threes” bus services coming into operation the day before.

The town was dealt a double whammy when the rail bridge on Station Street had to be replaced this summer, adding extra misery to queueing motorists in the town centre and affecting businesses.

Kath Coultas, co-owner of Hucknall Home Improvements on Annesley Road, is optimistic about the town’s prospects.

“It has been disruptive but it was always going to be,” she said. “You can’t put a new road in without it.

“It remains to be seen if it will be beneficial - but let’s hope so. There has been a lot of negativity in Hucknall, but I still think it is a lovely place to live.

“If our councillors and town planners can put their heads together and attract one big name business to the town, Hucknall could be quite a vibrant place. Especially with all the new houses. Hucknall was due an upgrade!”

Mrs Coultas said Annesley Road had been spared any closures relating to the new road until Wednesday, when it was shut for a roundabout to be installed on Baker Street.

The scheme, managed by Via East Midlands on behalf of Nottingham County Council (NCC), with Carillion Tarmac as the main contractor, saw the county council invest £3.144m, with £8.49m from the Department for Transport and £850,000 from Ashfield District Council.

Councillor Kevin Greaves, Committee Chairman for Transport and Highways, at NCC, said: “This is a hugely significant moment for the Hucknall Town Centre Improvement Scheme and we are thrilled to be at this stage.

“It is a major step that we are now in a position to officially open this new road and work on the next stage of the project can also begin in earnest.”

Work on the pedestrianisation of the High Street between Baker Street and Watnall Road, will begin immediately.

Access to High Street between Baker Street and Watnall Road will be restricted to loading only before 10am and after 4pm when the new road opens.

Construction work during December will focus the section closest to Baker Street and will continue along the High Street early in 2017.

Additional maintenance works to reconstruct Station Road will require overnight road closures from Monday, December 5. 2016 The road network in the Station Road / Ashgate Road area will be fully open in the week commencing December 12.

Mike Barnett, Team Manager at Via East Midlands, said: “Every effort will be taken to keep disruption to a minimum to complete the work on Station Road.

“It is likely that inconvenience will occur and we would like to take this opportunity to thank people for their patience as the final section of the new infrastructure works are completed.”

Detailed plans are available to view at the Site Office on Annesley Road opposite Carlingford Road or together with further information on the Nottinghamshire County Council’s website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/hucknallimprovements