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Do A4440 Southern Link Road revamp at night, council is urged
PLEAS are being made to overhaul Worcester's notorious A4440 Southern Link Road at night - and speed up the roadworks quicker to avoid driver misery.
Politicians at Worcestershire County Council say residents are worried that the £38 million project, which is set to start in April, will result in constant traffic problems.
As your Worcester News revealed last year, over the next four years the route will be part-dualled, from the Whittington island down to the Ketch roundabout.
It will result in the Ketch island, off the A38 Bath Road, doubling in size and the Network Rail owned bridge by the Whittington roundabout made wider to take an extra lane.
But some politicians say they have already had residents contact them fearful about the impact on congestion in the meantime.
The Conservative leadership has revealed that "some" of the work is likely to take place at night following the plea.
Councillor Paul Tuthill, who represents Malvern Link said: "It used to be the case that if you left Malvern at 6am you could get onto the M5 quickly, but that wasn't the case this morning.
"Although people in Malvern are very keen to see this go ahead, they are saying 'what will happen to the traffic when this work is being done'.
"Have we looked into doing this at night? Otherwise what we'll end up with is months and months of problems."
His concern was echoed by Councillor Marc Bayliss, who represents St Peter's at County Hall.
"Is there any way the link work can be brought forward? I see it is due to be complete in 2018/19 but can we look into finishing it sooner."
The council has pledged to do the work in phases, and plans to finish the Ketch revamp by the spring of 2015 before starting on the next stretch one year later.
That 12 month 'lay off' period will allow the designs to be finalised and give drivers some crucial respite before it kicks off again.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure said: "Certainly, what we will do where possible is make sure the work is done outside the existing carriageway, then tie it in to the current carriageway to minimise the impact.
"And certainly some of that work will take place at night. We are very much alive to this issue, it's a key route used by, 30,000 vehicles a day."
The council say the part-dualling will reduce waiting times by up to 50 per cent, especially for drivers heading towards the M5.
It does not include the Carrington Bridge, but the council says it hopes to dual that after 2018 if it can secure funding, with the costs estimated at anywhere from £30 million upwards.