Overhaul of traffic bottleneck delayed

By Tim Clarke Wednesday 16 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 13:11

A MAJOR overhaul of one of the city's most congested roundabouts has been delayed until at least the autumn.

Work to improve traffic flow at the Ketch island was expected to begin as early as this spring but the Standard can reveal the project has been put back until at least the autumn.

The roundabout - where traffic from the busy A4440 southern link road, A38 and St Peter's estate all converge - is one of Worcester's worst bottlenecks and the county council's Highways department has been drawing up plans to completely revamp the island.

It had initially been hoped a public consultation could begin this winter with work starting in the spring or summer but it has now emerged the scheme has been put back until at least the autumn.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the council's cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: "We are currently developing proposals for the Ketch roundabout as part of our efforts to improve traffic flow along the southern link road and are awaiting a final decision from the Department of Transport. We would therefore expect to be able to undertake consultation in the summer or early autumn."

The revamp of the Ketch island forms part of a wider effort to improve traffic flow on the delay-hit southern link road which is blighted by congestion.

A raft of improvements to another bottleneck - the Whittington roundabout - were completed in September but attracted criticism from some motorists who felt the new layout was 'confusing' and 'dangerous'.

It prompted the council to make further alterations to give way signs, road markings and the angle of the junction at the end of a controversial new filter lane which takes traffic onto the A4440 towards the Ketch.

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