I have just read the article in Friday 2nd August issue of the Guardian regarding the £3.2 million makeover for the Millhouse Roundabout. Where did that figure come from?
I know our council are expert at wasting money eg spending £7,000 village signs at Carlton in one breath whilst campaigning against the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and complaining about necessary council service cuts in the next. It beggars belief that the proposed alterations, which we would all like to see a plan of and detailed costings could cost £3.2m when the whole new road scheme from the M1 at Aston to the Anston side of the old Todwick crossroads is only costing £14.7 million as stated in another article, on page 36, of the same issue and that is a major piece of re-routing and alteration.
As far as I can see the major problems with the Millhouse Roundabout is the pelican crossing, which causes traffic to back up round the island and drivers trying to get out of St Anne’s Drive in the morning rush hour.
Obviously pedestrians need to cross the A57 to get into town down Newcastle Avenue but would it not be better to build a covered footbridge with ramps rather than steps because of wheelchairs and prams etc they may have to be zig/zag ramps to ensure the gradients on either side are not to steep, but there is space on the verges either side of the by-pass and remove the pelican crossing.
With regard to the traffic on St Anne’s Drive, have a traffic light controlled system around the island between say 7.30 and 9.30am, having two marked out lanes on St Anne’s the left forgoing up the bye-pass towards Sainsbury’s and going down Newcastle Avenue and the right lane for going on the bye-pass towards the A1 and Mansfield Road. Probably a time of 15 to 20 seconds with the lights on green for St Anne’s and the other roads into the island on red should release enough vehicles off St Anne’s to prevent a serious build up of traffic and once the St Anne’s lights go back to amber a five second delay around the island anti-clockwise for the other lights to go green starting with Mansfield Road. The St Anne’s lights should be camera activated (like the ones at Junction 31 on the M1) and start working when traffic is backed up to Meadow Road. I would suggest it would clear quite quickly and I don’t think all that lot would cost anything like £3.2 million, unless, of course the council dragged the work on for ages like the six weeks it took them just to put a pedestrian crossing on Netherton Road outside Portland Academy, but there again the Todwick alterations are being carried out by a private contractor who work to proper timescales and costings and have to be profitable and efficient, possibly not parameters the council are familiar with or work to.