A short consultation has been launched by Nottinghamshire County Council to find out the views of residents and traders on introducing a temporary one-way system to the centre of Ruddington.
A letter has just been sent out by Via East Midlands (VIAEM) on behalf of the Council to all those who would be directly impacted by the proposed changes. It’s after both Rushcliffe Borough Council and Ruddington Parish Council (RPC) asked for these measures to be given consideration as a way of mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in our village centre. This, in turn, follows a Government request to Local Highway Authorities to make changes to their road layouts which would support the country’s transition as ‘lockdown’ restrictions are lifted. These changes include “…the introduction of measures to encourage active travel, enable social distancing and support economic recovery.”
The proposals for Ruddington illustrated on the map below (click >>HERE<< to open it in a new window) are:-
- a 20mph zone within village centre
- the introduction of additional on-street unlimited waiting parking bays on The Green
- the introduction of one-way system, clockwise around The Green, Church Street and High Street
Ruddington Borough Councillor, Jennifer Walker, who’s backing the plan, says: “COVID has shown many of us the importance of a vibrant High Street and we need to do all be can as a Council and as consumers to make it as attractive as possible for all in our community. I think this proposed, temporary, one-way system – along with the additional parking and 20 mile per hour speed limit – will be a good compromise for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Not only does it free up more space on our High Street but also allows for the increases in parking that our traders have been crying out for.“
Borough and Parish Councillor, Mike Gaunt, agrees, saying it’s a great idea: “Not only will it reduce rat runners using the village and causing massive congestion issues, it will also improve the environment of the village centre. Currently the High Street is virtually one way anyway, but the situation is dangerous and people have to dash across the street as cars race to get through.”
He adds: “The one-way system and reduced speed limit will make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists whilst also providing much needed parking. It will also make no physical alterations to The Green or any other element of our lovely village. It is a win-win situation.”
Village business owner Alex Preston, of The Bottle Top,is also backing it: “In theory I thinks it’s a great idea” she says. “That road is ridiculous and we often have customers complaining about it. Parking has always been the one thing that we ask for more of and this looks to at least on a temporary basis be providing more of it. A one-way system calms the traffic, means less issues with the buses turning at the top, and so on.”
Not all Ruddington retailers are quite so enthusiastic. Sally Pickard, of Phoenix Flowers, comments: “I think the ‘unlimited’ parking on The Green will be the thin end of a wedge – being changed in the future to time limited. Also the one way system means me unloading and loading my van in the road – as that’s the side the door is. It will also mean the parking on High Street is counter to the flow, which may put some people off.” However she adds: “I don’t have any real problem with a one way system – but it will potentially disadvantage those of us loading up.”
Both Ruddington Village Centre Partnership and RPC have declined to express an opinion either way on these specific proposals – instead leaving it up to individuals to have our say. However, the Parish Council says it has informed the County Council that the ‘filter lane’ right turn shown on the map from The Green onto Church Street doesn’t exist – believing an error has been made.
Andy Hunt, of The White Horse Inn, remembers: “The one-way system worked really well in the past. I get this won’t be great for everyone but it helps with traffic.”
Indeed, a one-way system was utilised in Ruddington village centre before, when major roadworks took place in 2010. Back then it received a mixed reaction from villagers despite actually seeming to improve traffic flow. With the new ‘Wilbur Chase’ development meaning many more cars will be soon be passing through the village centre, via The Green and onto Distillery Street, now some are calling for a permanent change to be made. Looking through the archives, RUDDINGTON.info believes the first time a village one-way system was discussed as a permanent possibility was in May 1994 – but the plan was never implemented.
If approved temporarily this time, VIAEM says the measures would be introduced through a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) and, as part of this work, new lines would be marked on site and new signs erected. The scheme would then be monitored during its operation and reviewed as appropriate.
Villagers are now encouraged to express our views on these plans as soon as possible. All observations on these proposals need to be sent by letter to:
Via East Midlands,
Major Projects and Improvements,
Bilsthorpe Business Park,
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18th September 2020.
VIAEM says all responses received will then be reviewed before being fed back to Nottinghamshire County Council.