THE diggers are about to move in to revamp Worcester’s Ketch roundabout, as a local councillor claimed the landscape “has been destroyed”.
Councillor Roger Knight has secured assurances from Worcester City Council that the authority is prepared to get its hands dirty and help ensure the £8 million project is acceptable to residents.
The county council is due to start work on transforming the island, located off the A38 in St Peter’s, in a year-long project which will see it double in size.
In recent weeks, trees have been felled as part of a plan to turn the route heading down Broomhall Way, towards Norton island, into a dual-carriageway.
And Councillor Matthew Lamb, cabinet member for cleaner and greener in Worcester, says the city council will get involved in the project.
The city handed over a grassed bank of land to County Hall last year to create a slip road in front of Begonia Close, a residential street.
Some kind of acoustic fence and shrub planting will be placed in front of the houses to minimise the noise, but the details are yet to be finalised.
Cllr Knight, who represents St Peter’s, said: “I’m sure Cllr Lamb is aware I’ve been working with officers to mitigate the impact of the changes to the Ketch roundabout and Broomhall Way on the environment and lives of the residents of St Peter’s.
“Will he give an absolute assurance that his department will support and facilitate the best outcome?”
Cllr Lamb said the city council will insist the changes are “as environmentally and aesthetically appropriate” as possible.
Cllr Knight then said he was concerned the tree felling has already “destroyed” the landscape, and called for more help in a fresh planting scheme to build an attractive bank between Begonia Close and the road.
“The county council has proposed some changes to lessen the impact,” said Cllr Lamb.
“It could include an acoustic fence, lengthening of the bank and the planting of trees, but with all of these things the devil is in the detail.
“We need to look at whatever they propose to ensure it serves the community and city in the best light. ”
The redevelopment is part of a wider £38 million plan to part-dual the A4440 Southern Link Road from Whittington island to the Ketch roundabout.