Constant roadworks make residents feel ‘trapped in their own village’ by | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Hundreds of residents want more coordination from Gloucestershire highways to avoid “nightmare” delays in Churchdown.
They have had to put up with constant roadworks and closures which are adding to the already increasing amount of traffic in the village.
Villagers fear if roadworks are not planned properly the issue will continue to impact their lives.
A petition signed by more than 500 residents was handed in to Gloucestershire County Council this month calling on highways chiefs to look at coordinating roadworks and closures to reduce traffic issues in the village.
Liz Skelt, who set up the petition, says Churchdown residents felt they were being ignored.
She said there have been numerous road closures and works going on simultaneously. And with more still to come there is very little consolation for residents, she said.
“It feels like Churchdown has been the victim of poor planning and the residents are at the mercy of these highway agencies that do not seem to know what each other are doing.
“We do wonder how they could not have coordinated the works better as it seems like they are digging up the same road over and over again.
“The traffic at certain times of the day in Churchdown is already almost gridlocked. Residents have been spending huge amounts of their time, money on fuel, stuck in the extra delays these roadworks have created.
“You might think that they should take a different route out of the village, as there is more than one road out of the village, but these escape routes are also thwarted by road closures and other road works.
“Residents have had the overwhelming feeling of being trapped in their village.”
She said residents are appreciative that they are getting their bridges fixed and cycle paths installed but only now have the agencies started to coordinate.
“I cannot help feeling they should have been doing this already. And if they had from the start, the residents of Churchdown would not be feeling so angry and ignored.”
Councillor Ben Evans (LD, Churchdown) says he is 100% behind the cycle path and sustainable travel but cannot understand why the people of Churchdown are not being listened to over this issue.
He said: “The local councillors care and are listening, but when we meet the council cabinet we are just brushed aside.
“We want to see road works properly planned and sequenced to minimise the disruption for people who have to use these roads every single day”
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire County Council said they appreciate and understand roadworks are inconvenient and frustrating for road users and local residents.
They say they do their best to minimise disruptions such as carrying out works overnight when possible, as well as during the school holidays.
“We also work closely with the utility companies and National Highways to limit the impact of their work and often push back and ask partners to reschedule their work where it coincides with others.
“The area has required critical safety works on the motorway bridge by National Highways and some emergency installation and repair works by utility companies, whilst we’ve been undertaking the cycle scheme, which in itself has defined delivery times to meet central government funding requirements.
“Unfortunately, the tandem works in Churchdown are unavoidable and while we apologise for the inconvenience, there wasn’t another way to complete these works this time.”
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk