Calls for urgent action to improve bottleneck Elmbridge Court

Nightmare’ roundabouts on the A417 and A40 need urgent improvements after the successful schemes at the C&G and Walls junctions in Gloucester.

That’s the call from the city’s MP Richard Graham who wants work to start as soon as possible on the Over and Elmbridge roundabouts – the scourge of rush hour motorists across the county.

 He said both roundabouts are “bottlenecks overripe for improvement” and thinks changes to the islands and their traffic lights could make the same difference as the multi-million pound alterations to the C&G and Walls roundabouts.

“We all want to increase productivity in the county and reduce car journey time, petrol consumption and carbon emissions,” said Mr Graham.

“Sitting in queues for roundabouts doesn’t help – joining the Elmbridge roundabout from Gloucester’s Cheltenham Road can be a nightmare.

“So I’m convinced the sooner we start on the Elmbridge roundabout the quicker we can make real progress on all these goals. The next one to be tackled would then be the Over roundabout, which could be much more efficient.”

He has written to Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne, recommending that Gloucestershire Highways urgently consider bringing forward this element of the government financed Elmbridge Transport Scheme.

“If these roundabouts could be tackled in turn with the same speed and urgency as the Eastern Avenue roundabouts that would seriously improve the county’s road infrastructure,” said Mr Graham.

In November this year, the county council approved the £16.5million Elmbridge Transport Scheme, £14.1million of which will come for the Department for Transport.

It includes a new 1,000-space park and ride site next to the Elmbridge Court Business Park. Planners also sanctioned a series of improvements to the Elmbridge Court roundabout and a priority bus route for the approach to Arle Court roundabout.

 If all goes to current plans, it should be complete by autumn 2016 but Mr Graham is pushing for action sooner.

Coun Hawthorne said: “Richard Graham has suggested some interesting ideas and we are looking into them as part of our improvement work at Elmbridge Court.”