The changes will be introduced between January and autumn 2017.
The work will be carried in phases to help minimise delays and disruption, allowing traffic to access most, if not all of the route. Individual sections of the route will need to be closed for a few weeks at a time to allow the work to be done quickly and safely, and diversions will be put in place.
The programme of works is still being finalised but the current indicative works phasing is as follows:
- January to March 2017: Albion Road
Removal of the central reservation (median) barrier between the Oaklands Car Park/bowling centre roundabout and the Highland Road roundabout. This will be replaced with an overrunable narrow median strip in some areas or a raised median with planting in others.
Albion Road will remain open throughout this work however traffic may be slower than normal. Full access to residential properties will be maintained and bus routes will be unaffected. The existing short section of evening and Sunday on-street parking along Albion Road, opposite the Broadway Shopping Centre, will not be available during some of this period.
- March to Autumn 2017: Albion Road
Construction of a new road layout to introduce improved footways, new crossings, cycleways and altered carriageway along the whole of Albion Road. These works will be carried out in sections and phased to minimise disruption, as follows:
- Section 1 - Oaklands car park to Townley Road
Work in this section will reduce the current two lane dual carriageway to a single lane for most of this length. The central median will be removed and replaced with an overrunable central strip for most of its length.
- Section 2 - Townley Road to Highland Road
The existing dual carriageway on the north side will remain in place on the approach and exit to the Broadway Shopping Centre car park, but become a single lane between these points. On the south side the existing two lane dual carriageway will be reduced to a single lane, with protected parking outside the properties between Pincott Rd and Victoria Rd. Pincott Road, Warren Road and Victoria Road will become one-way in a clockwise direction. Changes will also be made in Highland Road from the roundabout up to the Broadway Square car park, to improve entry and exit for this car park.
- Section 3 - Highland Road to Gravel Hill
The existing two lane dual carriageway will remain but will be realigned on both sides of the road, and a planted median strip provided.
Order of works in these sections
Works will take place in the above section starting on the southern side and move from the west (Oaklands car park roundabout) to the east (Gravel Hill), they will then swap to the northern side and again move from west to east through these same sections to complete the Albion Road improvements.
Albion Road will need to be closed on one side of the route when the works take place in each section. Traffic will be able to use the rest of Albion Road, but there will be a signed diversion for through traffic on the affected direction of traffic.
- May to September 2017: Gravel Hill (Watling St and Albion Rd junctions)
The traffic light controlled junctions at Albion Road/Gravel Hill and at Gravel Hill/Watling Street will be replaced with standard roundabouts to improve traffic flow and speed up journey times. Shorter, more direct pedestrian crossings will be provided on all arms of these two junctions.
During the improvement work the junctions will remain open to traffic but some turns may be banned from time to time with signed diversions. Safe pedestrian crossings will be provided at all times.