Bermuda Connection (or its previous incarnations as the Bermuda Connectivity Project and Bermuda Sustainable Transport Bridge) has not featured in any approved local transport plans by the Nuneaton & Bedworth Council or Warwickshire County Council. It isn’t in the approved 2006 Nuneaton & Bedworth Local Plan and also does not feature in the current Warwickshire County Council Local Transport Plan.
It was shown but was not readily visible to members of the public in the unapproved ‘Borough Plan Consultation’ as can just be seen in the image below from the ‘Public Consultation’ that was held a few years ago but the bridge was just noted as a new transport route and reading the documentation the new route was to formulise the route for cyclists, not commuter traffic and heavy goods vehicles.
The Bermuda Sustainable Transport Bridge is further detailed in small print in the Nuneaton & Bedworth Infrastructure Delivery Plan that forms part of the ‘unapproved’ Borough Plan (Pages 70, 74, 78, 83, 87). No detail is provided regarding the scheme so to members of the public assumed this was formalising the use of the bridge for cyclists as well as pedestrians. It certainly isn’t indicated that it would form a relief road to the A444!
Warwickshire County Council also provided documentation to support the Borough Plan Consultation which also indicated an improved cycling route and the aspiration to open the bridge to traffic in the future:
” The Attleborough to Bermuda on and off-road route provides excellent links to employment though the recently signalised Griff Roundabout at the A444 with cycle crossing facilities. This This will be further complemented by improvements associated with Bermuda Station and committed improvements linking to Bermuda village through provision of an official cycle route on the bridge over A444.”
“WCC is currently investigating the formalising the existing Bermuda bridge over the A444 for use by cyclists. WCC has longer term aspirations to open this route up for bus use to serve Bermuda Station and open up alternative routes to and from existing and proposed housing and employment.”
Correspondence obtained by the Bermuda Bridge Action Group is very enlightening in terms of housing development driving the development of the project. On the 21st January 2014, Ashley Baldwin (Principal Planning Policy & Principal Policy and Economic Officer) sent the below image to Councillors Harvey and Councillor Lloyd to accompany the ‘Bermuda Connectivity Project Funding Application Cabinet Report’ (the image is Appendix B of the Cabinet Report). This shows that major housing estates at Arbury View, Whitestone, Weddington and St Nicholas Park are key outcomes of opening up Bermuda Bridge to traffic. This scheme not only negatively impacts upon large parts of Arbury Ward in West Nuneaton but will have major impacts on North East and South East Nuneaton too from the scale of development and additional traffic congestion created as a result of these developments (areas that are not being consulted by WCC).
The Governance of the Project is from the LEP with delivery being the responsibility of Warwickshire County Council and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council on the Project Board
There are many background reports that have been produced in regard to the Bermuda Connection Scheme. A selection of these are provided below and include:
- 2014 04 16 Equality Impact Assessment / Analysis for Bermuda Connection Project ERDF Bid
- 2014 04 24 MP Bermuda Bridge Transport Bridge Feasibility Assessment Report
- 2014 04 29 WCC Proposed Key Decision to be taken by the Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning on 29 April 2014
- 2014 05 20 WCC Monitoring Report of Urgent Decisions and Call-in.
- Warwickshire County Council Presentation (Arbury & Stockingford Community Forum)
- 2014 07 03 Public Bermuda Bridge Consultation Objections – List of Reasons why the Bermuda Connectivity Project should not proceed
- 2014 07 03 Warwickshire County Council Response to Public Questions Bermuda Bridge
- 2014 10 09 Warwickshire County Council Capital Growth Fund – Bermuda Connectivity Cabinet
- 2014 10 09 Warwickshire County Council Cabinet MINUTES
- 2014 12 03 NBBC Cabinet Agenda and Reports
- 2014 12 10 NBBC Council Agenda and Reports
- 2014 12 10 NBBC Council Meeting Minutes
- 2015 06 24 Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee