Further delays: £2.4m Millhouse Roundabout works fall behind by more than a month

Works on the Millhouse Roundabout.
Works on the Millhouse Roundabout.
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Major works on the Millhouse Roundabout at Worksop have fallen more than five weeks behind schedule, the Guardian can reveal.

The £2.4m project, which will see the installation of traffic signals at the site, began in February of this year and was scheduled to last 32 weeks- due for completion this month.

But due to “unforeseen circumstances” relating to “drainage and safe removal of asbestos”, the completion date is not scheduled until the end of October.

And if the wet weather the town has seen this week continues, the date could be pushed back even further.

Many Worksop residents have been left “fuming” over the scheme, which has seen all traffic on the roundabout transferred to a single lane.

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Works on the Millhouse Roundabout.

Works on the Millhouse Roundabout.

Congestion has also been caused by the temporary closure of key access roads into Worksop such as Newcastle Avenue and Cheapside.

Motorists are now questioning exactly “what is being done” as part of the project, as they say they “cannot see any visible improvement”.

Sian Eyre, who uses the roundabout on her commute, said: “I can’t see what changes are being made except a filter lane and the sprucing up of the actual roundabout.

“I think it’s a waste of money. £2.4m would have been better spent fixing potholes around the town.”

Becky Reynolds, from Worksop, said: “I thought they were just making a giant molehill because from what I have seen they have only moved soil from one place to another.”

Andy Bartrop, who lives on St Anne’s Drive, close to where the roundabout is located, said: “For us living on St Anne’s, it’s been hell. Queuing in and out, roads shut, got to go miles out of our way, more time and more fuel used.”

Neil Hodgson, head of consultancy for Via East Midlands, which is managing highways services on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We are carrying out a major investment project on a key road network route on the A57 Millhouse Roundabout at Worksop.

“The works are to introduce traffic signals at the roundabout linking the A57, A60, B6024 Newcastle Avenue and St Annes Drive, between the M1 motorway and the A1.

“Work began in mid-February 2016, and was due to last for 32 weeks. However, due to unforeseen circumstances related to drainage, challenging ground engineering issues and the discovery and safe removal of asbestos, we are now estimating works on the roundabout being completed by the end of October 2016.

“Again, whilst every effort will be taken to keep disruption to a minimum it is likely that inconvenience will occur.

“In addition to offering advance notice of this work, we would like to take this opportunity to thank people for their patience at such times.”

The Millhouse Roundabout Improvements project is being jointly funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Sheffield City Regional Investment Fund.

The project resulted from a joint Transport and Regeneration study of Worksop in a bid to identifying local opportunities and benefits which would help the district by upgrading the current highway network.

As a result of the study, a number of improvement sites have been identified and work is on-going to secure “future funding” specifically along the A57, potentially unlocking land development, say the Council.

It is hoped the project will resuce congestion, improve journey times and boost Worksop’s attractiveness and jobs market.

Nottinghamshire County Council say it is estimated that the increase in available employment land will have the potential to “host up to 4,900 jobs” and indirectly generate around 1,100 more in the town due to the increases in trade and retail footfall.

Residents are sceptical about these figures, however.

Worksop resident Nigel Turner said: “4,900 jobs? Please tell me how this would be achieved. That would make the Millhouse Roundabout a magic roundabout.”