Carrington Bridge dualling "not ruled out" once £38m Southern Link Road revamp is done

Worcester News: Worcester's A4440 Southern Link Road Worcester's A4440 Southern Link Road

WAITING times on Worcester’s notorious Southern Link Road will reduce by 50 per cent once a £38m revamp of the route is complete, it has emerged.

Your Worcester News can also reveal how the county council has not ruled out finishing the job by dualling the A4440 Carrington Bridge - saying that will be the next target for reducing congestion.

As we exclusively revealed on Saturday, the council is drawing up plans to dual the route from Whittington island to the Ketch roundabout by 2018.

The funding package, which will include taxpayers’ cash and funds from a developer looking to build 2,200 homes nearby, includes doubling the size of the Ketch island.

According to computer modelling by the county council, drivers will be able to travel at double the speed from Whittington island to the Ketch roundabout when it is complete.

And in the other direction, for motorists heading towards the M5, speeds from the Ketch island to Whittington roundabout will also double.

That compares to now, when the council says it takes over 13 minutes, on average to go the same distance during morning peak periods of 7.30am to 9am, with cars crawling at an average of 12 miles an hour.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “For as long as I’ve been doing this role the number one aspiration has been the Southern Link Road.

“The more dualling we can do of this route, the better it will be - in an ideal world we’d do the Carrington Bridge now too, but we’re not in an ideal world.

“We are definitely not ruling out another phase - our aim is to do the whole southern link and in the meantime, this will really help.”

The likely cost of dualling the Carrington Bridge has been estimated at anywhere from £30m-£40m, although it could be more.

There are hopes more private funding can be secured for it, especially as plans are being drawn up for 800 new homes next to Dines Green by Hallam Land Management.

The company wants to secure planning permission early next year, before selling the site off for development of a ‘super village’.

But even if an agreement can be secured, more council cash and Government help is also likely to be needed.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said: “I have always supported any proposals to dual the link road from the junction 7 of the M5 towards Malvern.

“This improvement is essential for economic growth in the west of the county. Any progress will be good news for county commuters.”

Work on the link road will start next March, once a consultation lasting 12 weeks finishes over the Ketch island.

That phase will see the roundabout double in size, with a new slip-road created for drivers heading up the Bath Road turning left towards the M5 to head up Broomhall Way.

That phase alone will take 12 months to finish, and the council will then draw up designs for dualling Norton island to Whittington.

It will involve taking possession of the railway structure that drivers pass underneath so it can be widened, with County Hall looking to take it off Network Rail by Christmas 2017 to do the work.

The £38m total cost of both phases follows last year's revamp of the Whittington island.

The council says one lane of Carrington Bridge, for drivers heading towards the M5, gets so congested because the Ketch and Broomhall Way remain bottlenecks, and the part-dualling will make a significant difference there.

The Carrington Bridge was created in October 1984, and congestion on the entire Southern Link Road has been an issue for over 20 years.

Around 30,000 vehicles now use the route daily, on average.

* What do you think? Leave your comments below or email te@worcesternews.co.uk.

Comments (10)

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11:07am Mon 9 Dec 13

Papermill says...

I have a simple suggestion as the article points out - "The likely cost of dualling the Carrington Bridge has been estimated at anywhere from £30m-£40m, although it could be more"

Why not use this money to dual the Carrington Bridge now & get any developer of the land at St Peters under a section 52 agreement to contribute toward the program of dueling the connecting roads.

However in some peoples eyes this will be seen as putting the cart before the horse. But isnt thats whats happening anyway !! Just moving the problem a little further down the road.
I have a simple suggestion as the article points out - "The likely cost of dualling the Carrington Bridge has been estimated at anywhere from £30m-£40m, although it could be more" Why not use this money to dual the Carrington Bridge now & get any developer of the land at St Peters under a section 52 agreement to contribute toward the program of dueling the connecting roads. However in some peoples eyes this will be seen as putting the cart before the horse. But isnt thats whats happening anyway !! Just moving the problem a little further down the road. Papermill

11:14am Mon 9 Dec 13

brooksider says...

I do not see the logic of pushing the traffic from Malvern to the M5 via Worcester.
Surely they should be improving the link roads to the M50 or putting in a new M5 junction north of Strensham.
I do not see the logic of pushing the traffic from Malvern to the M5 via Worcester. Surely they should be improving the link roads to the M50 or putting in a new M5 junction north of Strensham. brooksider

11:19am Mon 9 Dec 13

DanMacc says...

Cant this money just go towards R&D for Flying cars or Matter Transportation Devices, cutting travel time by up 100%?????
Cant this money just go towards R&D for Flying cars or Matter Transportation Devices, cutting travel time by up 100%????? DanMacc

12:52pm Mon 9 Dec 13

I'm_not_bitter says...

"...with a new slip-road created for drivers heading up the Bath Road turning left towards the M5 to head up Broomhall Way.."
A slip-road which you won't be able to get to because of all the traffic queuing to go straight over or turn right at the island which is isn't going to be helped by these plans.
Have any of these "highway engineers" actually visited the site, I wonder?
"...with a new slip-road created for drivers heading up the Bath Road turning left towards the M5 to head up Broomhall Way.." A slip-road which you won't be able to get to because of all the traffic queuing to go straight over or turn right at the island which is isn't going to be helped by these plans. Have any of these "highway engineers" actually visited the site, I wonder? I'm_not_bitter

2:52pm Mon 9 Dec 13

CYNIC_AL says...

The entire A4440 needs to be dualled from the Whittington island, right down to the Ketch Island with a proper slip-road put in at Whittington for traffic heading down towards St Peter's. The recent 'improvements' there haven't improved anything. Then new islands need to be put in at Norton and Ketch to deal with the extra lanes. The Carrington Bridge and Temeside Way heading down to Powick also need to be dualled and a new Junction 7a put in between Whittington and Strensham for M5 and M50 traffic.
The entire A4440 needs to be dualled from the Whittington island, right down to the Ketch Island with a proper slip-road put in at Whittington for traffic heading down towards St Peter's. The recent 'improvements' there haven't improved anything. Then new islands need to be put in at Norton and Ketch to deal with the extra lanes. The Carrington Bridge and Temeside Way heading down to Powick also need to be dualled and a new Junction 7a put in between Whittington and Strensham for M5 and M50 traffic. CYNIC_AL

7:08pm Mon 9 Dec 13

goodyearmart says...

What a complete waste of money dualling from Whittington to The Ketch..Surely the bridge and the stretch down to Powick needs sorting?I would dual this section and put traffic lights on the ketch island...just hope the fruitcake who was involved in the whittington island "modifications" doesnt get involved..or the charley who thought it would be a good idea to have a bus lane from the hospital down the newtown road..whats that all about!!..?
What a complete waste of money dualling from Whittington to The Ketch..Surely the bridge and the stretch down to Powick needs sorting?I would dual this section and put traffic lights on the ketch island...just hope the fruitcake who was involved in the whittington island "modifications" doesnt get involved..or the charley who thought it would be a good idea to have a bus lane from the hospital down the newtown road..whats that all about!!..? goodyearmart

7:58pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Peter WR5 says...

Will they be able to get those blokes doing the bridge in Evesham to quote for this job? They should be finished by 2017 in time to start this one.
Will they be able to get those blokes doing the bridge in Evesham to quote for this job? They should be finished by 2017 in time to start this one. Peter WR5

9:33pm Mon 9 Dec 13

newike says...

Until a ring road is completed it does not matter how much is spent here, there will always be hold ups. Imagine the problems taking "x" number of years to improve the half ring road . It won't take months .Where will all the traffic go whilst trying to do this side of the river , through the city ? Think again!
Until a ring road is completed it does not matter how much is spent here, there will always be hold ups. Imagine the problems taking "x" number of years to improve the half ring road . It won't take months .Where will all the traffic go whilst trying to do this side of the river , through the city ? Think again! newike

8:19am Wed 11 Dec 13

copierman says...

Pushing the bridge widening into the long grass for a few yesrs
Pushing the bridge widening into the long grass for a few yesrs copierman

11:00am Fri 20 Dec 13

Andy-Apache says...

How about holding the developers to their promises of creating the superstructure for employment LOCALLY on the sites of these developments, like they lied for Malvern Vale, and undoubtedly will lie about again for Newlands when that God-forsaken development happens.
How about holding the developers to their promises of creating the superstructure for employment LOCALLY on the sites of these developments, like they lied for Malvern Vale, and undoubtedly will lie about again for Newlands when that God-forsaken development happens. Andy-Apache

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