Long-awaited £2.6 million March traffic lights scheme is complete in Gaul Road
- Credit: HARRY RUTTER
A £2.6 million project to install traffic lights at a notorious accident blackspot in March is finally complete.
The redesign of the Gaul Road junction with the A141 has seen the road widened with four sets of new traffic lights and markings.
The scheme, which has caused traffic backlogs in the town since it got underway in July last year, was just two months over its completion date of November 30.
Mayor of March Councillor Jan French joined contractors at the site for the official switch on this morning (February 12).
Cllr French said: “There have sadly been fatalities here and a few serious accidents that have seen people left with serious injuries.
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“It has been extremely important to get this complete and will ease a lot of traffic out of town now.
“The first planning application to improve this junction was put forward in 2003 but was put back for various reasons over the years, so it has been a long-time coming.”
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The traffic lights came as one of the conditions imposed on house builders Cannon Kirk for being allowed permission to build on Gaul Road.
Numerous difficulties were encountered in commencing the work including more recently the county’s refusal to discharge one of the planning conditions until detailed information had been presented to tackle drainage and for hydraulic calculations showing summer and winter storm durations.
Around 135 homes were approved for down the road, with 52 of those already built.
Martin Lott, project manager at Cannon Kirk was joined by contractors from Durman Stearn, associate director Colin Bower and contract manager Paul Rayson.
Mr Lott said: “It has gone really well despite a slight delay due to it being a major design.
“It was always going to be a difficult job because of the traffic on the A141.
“The junction was moved over a bit and widened, while all the four sets of traffic lights were installed.
“This has always been a busy junction but it was high up as being an accident black spot.
“Hopefully this work has now taken that away.”
Traffic lights were deemed essential to deal with the expected increase in traffic merging onto the town’s bypass once a total of 200 new homes by three different developers have been built.