Islanders are being warned to expect “immense disruption” as planned work on Newport’s St Mary’s Roundabout gets underway in September – but the Isle of Wight Council insists that initial phases will only cause “little disruption” to traffic.
As previously reported by Isle of Wight Radio, the local authority wants to improve traffic flow heading in and out of Newport.
To do that, it plans on removing the three-lane roundabout near to St Mary’s Hospital and replacing it with traffic lights. It also wants to extend Forest Road and turn it into a junction.
At a Cabinet meeting at County Hall last Thursday (11), Councillor Ian Ward, confirmed that work would commence on 30 September.
However, Councillor Andrew Garratt – the ward member for Parkhurst – said that that date may be delayed:
“From what I understand, that is only a target date – there are still a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross.
“What really disappoints me though, is five months ago I said to Cabinet ‘look you have got time now to engage with residents and businesses across the Isle of Wight. Use that time’… and sadly that time has been wasted.”
Work is due to be carried out over a 15 month period.
Councillor Ward said that initial phases would cause “little disruption” to traffic.
But, Councillor Garratt believes that that will not be the case. He says drivers can expect “immense disruption”:
“This is a huge scheme. Probably the biggest scheme since I was growing up in the 1970s and they built the dual carriageway.
“We have to make sure, and I’ll be pressing the council to do this, to be absolutely honest.
“This is going to be disruptive. So the council must talk extensively to residents, to businesses – not just those who live and work in this area but everybody who has a reason to come to Newport. Whether you’re coming to B&Q, the hospital or passing through to the ferries in Cowes.”
The first phase, in September, will be to widen Forest Road.
Work will then be carried out near to the hospital, before efforts are focused on the roundabout next to B&Q.
Then, in just under a year’s time, traffic lights will be installed where the current main roundabout is, according to Councillor Garratt.
Isle of Wight Radio has contacted the Isle of Wight Council for further details.