POLL: Has the new look Bourges Boulevard improved traffic flow Peterborough? Have your say

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More than a year after works to improve a stretch of Bourges Boulevard began, the multi-million project has been completed.

The scheme was originally meant to finish in May, 12 months after works started, but this week the completed road was fully re-opened to traffic.

The £4.5 million scheme has seen long traffic jams into and out of the city centre on an almost daily basis, but yesterday traffic appeared to be flowing through the road freely for the first time in more than a year as the cones were removed.

It is hoped the newly designed road will make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel into and out of the city centre, with two pedestrian crossings.

Simon Machen, city council corporate director for growth and regeneration, said: “I would like to thank Peterborough residents for their patience while we have completed this major project for the city.

“We have worked hard to complete the scheme as soon as we could and we have tried to minimise disruption by carrying out the major road closures overnight.”

The roadworks were delayed for several weeks due to it taking longer than expected for Anglian Water to divert a large water main.

The controversial scheme has been criticised by a number of residents, many of whom said they did not like the art work on the central reservation, and some predicting travel chaos. The reservation features specially commissioned artistic metal railings and planters.

Their material and construction were inspired by the city’s railway and engineering heritage and were manufactured locally by Darke Steel of Stilton, a firm which has previously worked on numerous high-profile projects including the Gateshead Millennium bridge, Ashford International train terminal and the London Underground Jubilee Line.

A new 30mph speed limit will come into force on Bourges Boulevard for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, and due to the new road lay-out on the improved stretch of road.

The new speed limit will be enforced from around 100 metres north of the Bright Street roundabout (opposite the Volunteer Fire Station) and continue until the existing 30mph zone on Bourges Boulevard near Asda. Peterborough City Council leader cllr John Holdich said the upgraded stretch was already helping business in the city.

He sad: “These improvements were needed but we understand they do cause disruption and frustration - but we do it because we believe they will benefit the city and those that live and visit here. We have a clear vision for Peterborough and this project, along with others taking place, will help to build a strong and prosperous city equipped for the future.”

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