The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Planning Policy & Infrastructure which sought to make Members aware of the consultation launched on 9 December 2020 regarding the proposed A46 Newark Northern Bypass which was part of the Government’s second national Road Investment Strategy (RIS2).
The report set out the background to the proposed improvements, noting that it would remove a major bottleneck and help to facilitate current and future planned growth. It would improve access for freight traffic travelling along the A46, one of the country’s most important trade routes, potentially adding £7.1b to the UK’s economy. Details of the local benefits were reported, noting that along with delivery of the Newark Southern Link Road and the A1 Overbridge there would be increased productivity and huge potential for the District’s planned growth and Town Investment Plan. Details of the options for consultation were detailed together with issues for consideration.
In considering the report Members agreed that the proposed improvements to the A46 and the local benefits it would bring were to be welcomed. A Member stated that a graded separation at the Cattle Market Roundabout was the best option for Newark and that it should be emphasised in the Council’s formal response. He added that the Highways Executive (HE) must consider how they would mitigate disruption to residents in Farndon and Winthorpe and to ensure that traffic flow was not interrupted during the improvement works.
In referring to the date in which the consultation was launched, a Member expressed their disappointment that this had been over the festive period, adding that it provided insufficient time for those affected to meet with the HE to formulate a comprehensive response. She suggested that the HE be asked to extend the response date by a period of one month. She added that she was in support of economic growth but that an improvement of journey times would only benefit commuters and not local residents. In relation to the aforementioned preferred option for Newark of graded separation, she noted that a flyover would create additional traffic noise for residents in Winthorpe, stating that a number of residents had contacted her with some good ideas and that she hoped the HE would give them consideration.
In welcoming the proposals a Member noted the silo operations that the HE operated within and whether they were aware of the proposed improvements by Network Rail to the flat rail crossing in Newark. In response, the Business Manager advised that the issue had been consistently raised with the HE during meetings.
AGREED (with 11 votes for and 1 vote against) that delegated authority be given to the Director – Planning & Growth, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee and Chairman of the Planning Committee, to formally submit the Council’s formal final comments on the A46 Newark Northern Bypass Consultation, which shall also:
(a) engage with as broad a cross-section of the community as is practicable and to detail their views and opinions into a comprehensive response to the consultation proposals; and
(b) identify the road design option(s) that the Council considers most beneficial in the local and strategic context.