The year seven pupils played a key part at the official opening event by planting a Major Oak sapling on site alongside Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Mike Quigley MBE.
The planting will complement the ecological measures put in place throughout the construction of Colliery Way, previously known as the Gedling Access Road, which include 53,000 new trees, seven badger tunnels, seven bat hop-overs and six amphibian tunnels, as well as improved pedestrian and cycle links to Gedling Country Park.
The new road is open to members of the public from 1.30pm today (21) to explore the route on foot or by bike. Marshalls from Balfour Beatty will be on site to direct people, and they will also have some kids’ activity sheets with colouring pencils to help younger children explore with their families.
Councillor Mike Quigley MBE, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “I am looking forward to marking the official opening of this long-awaited road and delighted that the pupils from Carlton Le Willows school can help me plant a major oak sapling from Sherwood Forest to commemorate the occasion.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said it was ‘another piece in the jigsaw’ that would improve transport links in the borough.
“This project has been a long time in the making and I’m proud to see the results of all those years of hard work have led to this road becoming a reality” he said.
“To me this is part of another part of the jigsaw. There was another piece and that was Teal Close and you can see how that’s developed. This is another piece and takes us up to Mapperley Top but there are two other pieces I would like to see completed: one is that bridge across the Trent – it needs building – and the other end at Mapperley Top and we need to make sure it gets across to Junction 27 of the M1.”
“You cant have a core city like this without decent transport.”
Carlton le Willows Academy Headteacher Craig Weaver said: “We are pleased that the children have the opportunity to be involved in this tree planting and raise their awareness of local ecological initiatives, which are balanced against local human need for wider infrastructure and communication projects.”
Stephen Semple, Area Director at Balfour Beatty, said: “The opening of the Gedling Access Road concludes two years of hard work, and is testament to the unwavering dedication and expertise of our 120 strong team.
“Once opened, the Gedling Access Road will significantly improve journey times for the travelling public and we hope that this fantastic, new piece of infrastructure will provide a lasting, positive legacy for generations to come.”
The £49 million road links the A612 with Mapperley Plains and will improve journey times, reduce congestion through Gedling Village and bring new homes, jobs and businesses to the area.
Works on the 3.8km of new road began in January 2020 and construction teams have since moved 512,000 cubic metres of earth, equivalent to 204 Olympic swimming pools, laid 45,816 tonnes of tarmac and installed 30 kilometres of drainage pipes and cable ducts.
Traffic will be able to use the new road from midday on 22 March.