Calls for £500m Newark Bypass upgrade

Midlands Connect has today released a report proposing upgrades and finishing the Newark bypass. 

The £400-£500m scheme has been dubbed as “imperative” by Midlands Connect chairman Sir John Peace. 

The report highlights that the A46 Bypass is not currently performing at a standard that meets current and future needs.

The main issue affecting the bypass is traffic congestion. The A46 Newark Bypass is a heavily trafficked route, with an average of 15,440 and 16,290 vehicles passing through the corridor northbound and southbound, per day.

The result is below average vehicle speeds, which are exacerbated by congestion at junctions, which, apart from the Farndon Roundabout Junction, all operate at excess of 75% of their maximum capacity. 

The high traffic volumes also contribute to significant safety issues along the bypass.

Between 2017 and 2021, 77 vehicle collisions were recorded along the Newark Bypass with the hotspots being at the at-grade junctions, particularly at the Cattle Market junction.

The scheme will:

Improve traffic signals at Farndon roundabout to achieve smoother traffic flows in peak hours.

Plan new dual-carriageway bridge over the A1.

Enlarge and partial signalling of Winthorpe roundabout to reduce congestion and improve journey reliability.

New grade separated junction at the Cattle Market roundabout.

If delivered, Midlands Connect forecasts a 30% reduction in journey times for traffic using the improved section. 

The National Highways Consultation results showed 53% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the proposed scheme improvements.

Midlands Connect chairman, Sir John Peace, said: “Newark is the missing piece of the puzzle for the A46 and Midlands Connect’s firm and strong recommendation is for the government to grasp the nettle and finish this vital upgrade of the Trans Midlands trade corridor.

“It will make a massive difference for Newark, Nottinghamshire but also the Midlands and the wider UK.

“This report is a summary of our work in Newark and is part of Midlands Connect’s actions for continuing to make the case for investment along the A46 Newark Bypass. 

“Given how this scheme was initially proposed as a RIS2 scheme and given the numerous studies that have clearly set out the urgent need for investment along this section of the corridor, it is imperative that this scheme is now implemented as a matter of urgency without further delay.”

Robert Jenrick, MP for Newark, added: “I am pleased to support Midlands Connect in updating the Strategic Case for the A46 Newark Bypass. This initiative is a critical step towards ensuring that our region gets the infrastructure investment it desperately needs. 

“By widening 6.5km of the existing single carriageway to a dual carriageway between Farndon and Winthorpe roundabouts, congestion will be significantly reduced in our area.

“The upgraded A46 Newark Bypass will serve as a vital trade corridor linking the M5 to the Humber Ports and will result in smoother journeys for the approximately 17,000 daily drivers who rely on it. 

“I look forward to the timely completion of this project and am eager to collaborate on conveying the results to relevant authorities and government departments, particularly in seeking to ensure the £500m investment from the government for this infrastructure project. 

“The A46 Newark Bypass is a key component of our region’s infrastructure, and its enhancement supports a vision for sustainable growth and prosperity in and around Newark.”

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