£196k to be spent on A40 Over roundabout nightmare
MORE cash is to be spent on cutting Gloucestershire's most notorious traffic jam.
Commuters are waiting even longer in queues around the A40 – particularly from Minsterworth Primary School on the A48 to the A40 at Over, Churcham on the A40 and Rudford on the B4215.
Part of the problem is the growth of traffic to Hartpury College, believes Tibberton resident Fran Vicary.
"The queues on the Newent road are really bad but they're getting worse and it seems a significant part of the problem is the traffic going across the Over roundabout from Gloucester to Hartpury," said Mrs Vicary, a teacher whose 17-mile trip to Stroud High School takes 95 minutes.
The Highways Agency has a short-term fix in the pipeline, and Gloucestershire County Council a longer term £2.23million plan for the Highnam and Over roundabouts. That comes after the road was upgraded with traffic lights and a bus lane in 2008.
Sarah Cook, from Northwood Green takes her son Sam to Gloucestershire College in Cheltenham, and spends over an hour covering 21 miles.
"We have lived here for 19 years and it's the worst it's been," she said.
Motorists' woes will intensify when the A48 closes in stages next month, near Newnham and Blakeney.
A Highways Agency spokesman said the Over roundabout has been identified by the Government as a pinch-point and plans are in place to improve traffic flow.
"This will involve widening the A40 western approach road and installing a right turn lane to separate traffic turning right," he said. "We will also widen the lane on the north side of the roundabout to increase capacity. The £196,000 scheme should be completed by April 2015."
County council highway manager Chris Riley said: "The A417 at Hartpury can see up to 10,000 vehicles travel along it each day and while there may have been an increase in traffic to the college, this will be a small increase in the bigger picture."
Hartpury principal Russell Marchant said: "The college has enjoyed significant growth in the past few years but this has been more than matched by our investment in public transport and on-site student accommodation."