Senior councillors at North East Lincolnshire Council have u-turned on a former administration’s controversial decision on Toll Bar Roundabout.
The authority’s Conservative-led cabinet went against officer recommendation to tear the junction out and replace it with a signalled junction at a cost of £2.2 million.
Instead, they opted for a £1.98 million plan to enhance the roundabout, including widening the Station Road East and West approaches, increasing the number and length of lines and including two “ahead” lanes along the A16.
Councillor Jackson said the authority had worked hard in recent months to overcome the foundations laid down by the previous Labour leadership, including legal difficulties following May’s local elections.
He said he did not agree with the original plans adding, “frankly, nor do the majority of people across Northern Lincolnshire.”
Outlining improvements since May, including a new Toucan crossing, he told the meeting: “Toll Bar is not broken, congestion is only at peak times in the morning and evening.”
Following the meeting, he said: “This is a great Christmas present for the residents of North East Lincolnshire.
“At last we’ve come to a sensible compromise, we’re going to be able to keep and enhance the roundabout, it’s going to meet the congestion and capacity issues for the next few years and we’ve also got the Toucan Crossing in there that deals with the safety of the children.”
A third £4.4 million option which would have seen the roundabout significantly increased in size and turned into a three lane junction the entire way around was also rejected.
The former Labour administration agreed to carry out the original option in a controversial decision in May which faced petitions of more than 10,000 signatures.
The original motion took more than four years of planning and faced off against countless opposition.
Roger Breed, from the Toll Bar Residents’ Action Group welcomed the move and said the chosen option would bring benefits to the village.
“A fully signalised junction would have been actually horrendous.
“I don’t think anybody actually saw any benefit of it, it’s all really. So, I think everybody will be pleased now that the traffic light option has been been removed and we can get back to normal.
“It was all hard work and I’m really grateful for the support from the residents and the motorists and the shopkeepers basically. So, it’s all worked out in the end.”
The controversy has previously been quoted as one of the main issues which led to the downfall of former council leader Ray Oxby and, subsequently in May, a number of his fellow party members.
Work is hoped to start on the new plans in July 2020.
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