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Work begins on road re-widening after a 20 year demand

The first turf has been cut in the start of a major road re-widening scheme between the M1 and Nottingham.

Campaigners have been trying to get the A453 between Junction 24 and the city's ring road, a notorious congestion trouble-spot, turned into a dual carriageway since the 1980s.

Here reporter Michael Sibbert joins the Highways Agency CEO Graham Dalton.

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Work officially starts on the A453 today

Seven miles of road between Junction 24 of the M1 and the Nottingham Ring Road will be widened in the £150 million project Credit: ITV Central

Work will officially start today on improving the A453 in the East Midlands.

Seven miles of road between Junction 24 of the M1 and the Nottingham Ring Road will be widened in the £150 million project, which will take two years to complete.

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Leicester traveller sites: ongoing discussions

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester, says concessions have already been made regarding the size of the sites and further discussions will take place with members of the travelling community.

We've looked long and hard at the issues people have raised - for example we've agreed to limit the size of the Greengate Lane site to minimise the impact on nearby residents. We're also not planning to allow these sites to expand beyond the planned number of pitches.

Over the next three months I also want to further discussions with the county and district councils to ensure they are playing their part...I also want members of the travelling community to be involved in discussions about how they could help develop and manage sites.

– Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester

Traveller sites: "very hard decision"

16 pitches have today been proposed on two sites around Leicester.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby says:

This has been a very hard decision which was never going to be popular but the council has for years put off tackling the issue of unauthorised encampments across the city, which have numbered more than 115 between January 2009 and September 2012.

It is no longer enough for us to do nothing, and the extra pitches offered by these sites should be a step towards us getting on top of the problem of unauthorised encampments.

– Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor
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