Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Ben Bradley MP, has reassured Gedling borough residents that the advantages of the long-awaited Gedling Access Road will outweigh current financial and scheduling difficulties.
The county council revealed today that what was initially thought to be a £5.4m overspend on the £40m project has now increased to £8.6m.
There has also been a delay to the highway’s completion, originally scheduled for this year, until the spring of 2022.
The purpose of the new 3.8km long carriageway is to alleviate traffic congestion in Gedling village and serve the new Chase Farm housing development.
It will link the A612 Trent Valley Road and Nottingham Road to Mapperley Plains.
Mr Bradley told Gedling Eye: “A global pandemic has meant that construction has had to cope with unexpected problems.
“Inflation has also meant that the cost has risen and poor weather and alterations to planned groundworks has unfortunately resulted in a delay.
“When you dig a hole it doesn’t always look like you thought it would.
“The choice was to delay even further, waiting another 18 months to two years, or crack on. I think the latter is the right thing to do.”
“However, the benefits of the finished project, including improved journey times, links to expanded housing, the creation of local jobs and the overall easing of congestion outweigh the difficulties we are currently experiencing big time.”
“I also think the project could bring in £73m to the local economy. It will more than pay for itself.”
Mr Bradley maintained that, dependent on a continued lack of major Covid restrictions during the winter, the road is on course to be opened in Spring 2022.
He added: I’m quite confident that we will meet the new deadline and I recognise that residents are eager to see this due to current disruptions to traffic flow.
“This new capacity will connect places in the county that are currently inaccessible and do so in a green way as we’ve sought to protect the area’s habitats and plant trees as we go.”
John Clarke, leader of Gedling Borough Council, has said that the overspend “sounds like a lot of money but [not] if you compare to HS2 and other things like that.
“The actual building has been extremely challenging, and I think they’ve done well.
“It is public money and we want to know where the £5.4m is coming from but I would like to set a more level playing field.”