Air Balloon roundabout plans 'will not improve traffic flow or pollution'
CONTROVERSIAL plans to change the traffic flow at the Air Balloon roundabout will make no difference to the amount of congestion and air pollution, a community leader has said.
Gloucestershire Highways Agency is considering introducing a no-right-turn rule at the roundabout when coming down the A417 from Cirencester, heading towards Cheltenham.
The scheme aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve poor air quality caused by stagnant exhaust fumes at the notorious bottleneck.
It would mean those travelling towards Cheltenham along the route would either have to continue all the way down the A417 until turning off at the Shurdington Road – or alternatively cut through village 'rat runs' in the area.
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The scheme could be piloted next year for a period of up to 18 months.
Reg Eyre, from Elkstone, said the move would only transfer the pollution elsewhere and would not affect the traffic flow, because the A417 approaching the roundabout was a single lane carriageway.
The 65-year-old, who is the editor of the Elkstone Newsletter, said: "The most that it will do is in fact transfer some of that pollution to the A436, however it will not do anything to speed up the traffic.
"As any driver knows, a bottleneck will always occur when traffic is confronted by a reduction in road width.
"If traffic is flowing at around its maximum in two lanes, then the flow of traffic will be halved when there is a reduction to one lane."
Mr Eyre believes the only solution to improve traffic flow is to make the A417 a dual carriageway, but he says he is not sure whether he wants to see that happen.
He said: "Either dual the whole length from Nettleton Bottom to the bottom of Crickley Hill, or learn to be patient when in the queue."