Work to start on new road in 2015

Pictured is Hucknall High Street, town centre.
Pictured is Hucknall High Street, town centre.

A seemingly endless wait for Hucknall’s inner relief road may soon be over.

The idea of a new road to serve the town centre dates back at least to the 1950s.

But Nottinghamshire County Council officers say: “We are now the closest we have ever been to carrying out the project.”

Tom Boylan and Paul Horn, of the highways department’s major projects and improvements team, gave an update on the scheme at a meeting of the I Love Hucknall group.

The road will link Annesley Road with Station Road and the section of High Street between Baker Street and Watnall Road is to be pedestrianised.

Construction of the road is due to begin next spring. It is scheduled to open to traffic in the spring of 2016, with the pedestrianisation work expected to be completed in the summer of that year.

Mr Boylan said the scheme had been adapted to take in a flood prevention scheme in co-operation with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water.

The total cost is £12.4 million, with the Department for Transport providing £8.5 million and the rest coming from the county council and Ashfield District Council.

Mr Boylan said the aim was to regenerate the town centre. Consultation had shown that a broad consensus supported a traffic-free zone to create a better shopping environment.

Access to shops would be maintained at all times during the construction work and drop-in sessions would be arranged.

Mr Horn said: “Like or loathe the scheme, there is a feeling that something needs to happen. Some think it will work and others think it won’t deliver.But there is a view that we should get on with it.”

A suggestion has been made of a ‘taster’ of the part-pedestrianisation during August, with traffic diverted from the upper section of High Street for a few hours.