The development of a proposed 375 home “garden village” in Sharpness has prompted a resurgence in calls for the completion of the Berkeley bypass – which was started over 30 years ago.
Developers Hunter Page held a public consultation in Sharpness Village Hall on Tuesday and hope to move ahead with the project soon. The proposal was initially for 1,500 properties but this plan was changed after an earlier consultation.
Many residents living on the B4066 and Alkington Lane, in Berkeley Heath – which serve as routes to the unfinished bypass – fear the increase in traffic will prove a danger and a nuisance.
Other proposed projects that could increase congestion include a Skills Centre for 400 students to be built on the site of the old Nuclear Power station in Berkeley.
Currently Both Alkington Lane and the B4066 carry an equal amount of the traffic and both are used by HGVs, to connect between the A38 and the bypass to Sharpness - with accidents a regular occurrence.
Gloucestershire County Council has offered a range of widely rejected solutions to the problem, the most recent being a one-way system involving both the roads in 2006.
The idea most often put forward by the council is an expansion of the B4066.
Resident Pam Hillier lives on the B4066, and has long been involved in the struggle to resume work on the bypass.
Mrs Hillier believes that widening her road would reduce traffic on Alkington Lane and effectively double the amount of HGVs travelling along the B4066.
Mrs Hillier said: “It’s been going on for so long now, and all the council seem to do is repackage the same plan of making changes to the B4066. Alkington Lane is generally left out of the discussion, despite there being far less residents and greater ease in expanding a road with a field running along its entire length.
“They said the building of the bypass was halted because Sharpness was not developing as expected. They cannot say that anymore with all the proposals in the pipeline."
The ideal solution for everyone would be for the council to bite the bullet and get the bypass finished.”
Lead commissioner of highway authority at Gloucestershire County Council Scott Tompkins said: “Back in the 1970/80s there was a proposal for link to Berkeley Bypass and the A38 but the scheme was dropped because it was not a priority for the limited funds available and would be unaffordable.
“When compared to other roads in the county, traffic on the B4066 has not grown significantly over the last 10 years and is coping well with traffic flow, especially when taking into consideration other congestion hotspots or lorry traffic in the county. “However, The Local Enterprise Partnership has announced funding for a roundabout at the junction of the A38 and B4066 as well as minor improvements to the link from the junction to the Berkeley Bypass. The details of these proposals have not been developed yet.”