‘Horrible’ traffic and cars in saloons: Has the new £49m Gedling bypass started to benefit the village?
Long-time residents of a narrow village street plagued by ‘horrendous’ traffic say they are starting to notice the positive impacts of the recently opened £49million Gedling Bypass. MPs and councilors had argued for years that Colliery Way, formerly Gedling’s access road, would ease traffic in the village of Gedling and now, a week later, residents have revealed whether those claims were true.
Colliery Way, a 3.8km bypass between Mapperley Plains and Colwick Loop Road, had been in the pipeline since the 1930s. It had undergone various significant changes, including a re-route, before construction finally began near a century later in January 2020.
It hasn’t been without problems though, with skyrocketing costs and a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the bypass was eventually opened, as planned, with various economic and ecological benefits for the region.
Read more: What happened when Colliery Way opened
Residents in the center of the former mining village may have hoped for more direct benefits, having lived on a narrow, winding road that quickly became a thoroughfare for huge trucks and thousands of cars every day. Residents of Shearing Hill, which stretches from Burton Road to the village where it joins Main Road, were therefore among the best placed to ask whether the promised benefits had started to materialize.
Frank Shaw, 83, converted an abandoned building into a quaint cottage on the corner of Shearing Hill with his wife, Joan, who sadly died four weeks ago. They had lived on the road for 40 years.
Mr Shaw, an electrician turned salesman before his retirement, told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘When we got here it was a quiet village road, you had a few village cars and vans, and the council, in his wisdom and his stupidity, has built half a bypass.
“They did [Shearing Hill] in a road A and there was never any consultation on this subject. We campaigned for the bypass. In the end, we had to sleep in the back. We had 44-ton trucks rolling in. Big big things.
“We were told that 15,000 vehicles were passing on the road. We knew that when we bought the house in 1981, but we thought we were going to move, but we never did.”
Mr Shaw believes the new bypass has indeed started to ease traffic along the street. “It made a difference,” he added. “Traffic has gone down a lot. It’s calmed down. In the summer when you were in the back garden, the noise was horrible and it’s lovely here.
“It’s been a while to come. There’s still a lot of car traffic, but it’s reduced the big heavy traffic. They’ve put weight and speed limit signs here too. It’s not a village anymore It’s been a long time. It’s still crowded but it’s better. I think it’s very, very good. It’s been set up very well.”
Richard Klemba, 74, may have experienced the worst of such a narrow and winding road in the past. He says two cars crashed into his garden, while a van slammed into the front of his house and into his living room many years ago. Does he also believe that it helped? Not quite yet, he says, but he is hopeful.
“There are quieter times,” added the former land surveyor. “I had my problems here. My house was hit by cars twice. I was in the Evening Post many years ago when my children were young because they weren’t allowed to play on the grass.
“It stopped huge trucks going through and as people get used to it it should help. We’ll see. People have been campaigning for so long. I’ve been here 40 years and it’s taken me 30 to get used to There weren’t many people when I arrived here 40 years ago.
Gedling union councilor Jenny Hollingsworth, who also lives in the village, added: “I’m delighted people are thinking positively about it. It was a big expense and it’s good to know people think it’s worth it. the pain.”