Pete Ches reports: I recently sent an email to the Highways Agency enquiring whether any improvements could be made for the section of the A52 between Priory Island and the QMC to reduce the congestion. I received a fairly considered and informative response and thought it might be of interest to other local residents in Bramcote:
‘This section of the A52 has been a known issue in terms of congestion for a good many years now and despite a number of attempts to identify potential solutions nothing viable has been forthcoming. There are a number of reasons for this which are perhaps not immediately apparent including:
- While the carriageway is generally reasonably wide there are a few localised areas where both the carriageway and the footpaths ‘pinch’;
- The gatehouse and park wall to the north of the carriageway is a Grade II listed structure meaning there are significant restrictions on what can be done in the vicinity including in particular proposals that would significantly change the setting of the wall, including for example overhead signals to create a tidal flow (two plus one) arrangement;
- There are a number of bus stops on the link, about half of which are not in lay-bys, the current arrangement allows traffic to safely pass buses at these stops without being significantly held up, to convert to three lanes would require creation of new bus lay-bys for these stops to protect the flow of traffic however previous investigations have identified that there is insufficient space within the highway to create such facilities;
- The link also has a relatively poor safety record with a number of fatalities in recent years with a notable link to vehicle speeds, as such any proposals to widen or add further complexity to the current layout is unlikely to get approval from a Road Safety Audit; and
- Perhaps most significant however is that the road networks further into Nottingham are also congested at peak times, therefore even if we were able to improve flows along this section it would simply move the congestion down the road and potentially into more sensitive areas, this is particularly pertinent given the current issues around air quality within Nottingham City to which traffic congestion is a significant contributor.
Further to the above, we are also currently developing potential safety improvements for this section to address the injury collision issues for which the main solution identified is to narrow the carriageway down to a standard two lane width to reduce speeds and widen out the footpaths. As part of this we are also looking to include new shred cycle facilities along the link to improve local travel options which is hoped to reduce some of the demand for car travel.’