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Plans to “dramatically” change the layout of Newport’s traffic system have been approved by leading Isle of Wight Councillors.

The amended proposals, which will see St Mary’s Roundabout ripped out and replaced with a new scheme featuring traffic lights, have taken a leap forward following a unanimous vote at last night’s (Thursday) cabinet meeting.

Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Transport, Councillor Ian Ward said:

“People will see significant changes at what is now St Mary’s Roundabout because it will be changed simplistically into a crossroads – a signalised crossroads. The highways studies prove that traffic lights allow grater flow of traffic than roundabouts and even I was surprised to hear that because we all think that roundabouts are good don’t we? But actually they are normally dominated by traffic coming from one direction or another the people trying to get onto the roundabout usually lose out.”

Councillor for Parkhurst Andrew Garratt has expressed his concerns over “dramatic” changes to the original plans.

Councillor Garratt said:

“We’ve now got a major scheme, £5million worth of works, big changes, and yet the cabinet has decided that it does not need to hear from the public anymore. There is some attempt at doing something for cyclists but that is nowhere near enough, and we really could do with seeing a lot more done for those of us who are not moving around in motorised vehicles all the time. There will also be changes in the way people have to go about their business. For example, if you come from the north of Newport to the hospital you are going to ind yourself either having to do a u-turn at a junction or coming off a slip road and having to come around the tiny B&Q roundabout.”

Councillor Ward added:

“Yes we have a plan, but it is still flexible to a certain point and we’re happy to listen to people. Obviously we can’t change the major plan but if it’s a tweak here or there we will, and it’s as simple as that.”

The government-funded plans also include proposals to adapt St George’s Way to include three lanes also took a step forward following last night’s meeting.

You can find the revised scheme in full here.