Work to build much-needed roundabout finally starts after 20 years

Major roadworks to build a new roundabout on the South Derbyshire border have finally begun, nearly 20 years after the plans were first mooted. Locals in Albert Village, near Swadlincote, are getting a much-needed island to help traffic flow after hundreds of new homes were built in the area.

The roundabout is being built at the crossroads of Occupation Lane, Occupation Road, Mushroom Lane and Main Street to cope with the increase in traffic caused by a 400-home development being built and the newly-opened Swadlincote bypass nearby. The crossroads in the village is currently closed to traffic until Sunday, April 24, to enable drainage work to begin as part of the scheme.

Then, from Sunday, April 24, to Friday, July 8, there will be three-way temporary traffic lights in place in Mushroom Lane and Main Street, with Occupation Lane remaining closed. All approaches will be closed again this summer, from Saturday, July 9 to Friday, August 5, Staffordshire Live reports.

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The roundabout was first discussed 20 years ago when developer Taylor Wimpey was instructed by council planners to build it as part of its nearby Treetops housing development. The firm was given permission back in 2003 for the housing estate and the double mini-roundabout.

A first image showing how Albert Village's long-awaited double mini-roundabout could look
A first image showing how Albert Village’s long-awaited double mini-roundabout could look

At the time, Leicestershire County Council said there would be a large increase in traffic using Occupation Lane through Albert Village and stressed improvement at the crossroads was considered to be essential. Hopes were raised last year that the island might finally be about to happen when Occupation Lane was temporarily closed to allow essential electrical works to be completed, but locals were left disappointed when nothing more happened.

Preliminary work had started in February 2018, and then trees were removed just before lockdown in 2021 in readiness for the roundabout. However, despite repeated assurances from the housing firm that the roundabouts would be completed in 2019, then 2020, the project is yet to be started. Further delays were caused due to the coronavirus pandemic.