The A49 has reopened – we need to find a better way of managing these projects

The A49 has reopened at Onibury.

Hopefully, we will never see the like of this again. The A49 was closed for more than nine days. The rail line was replaced by a slow bus service for four weekends in a row, and the previous Sunday. This closure had to happen at short notice because Network Rail had failed to upgrade and repair the Onibury crossing over several years. The result is that trade in Ludlow has been lower than normal.

The diversions were lengthy and often confusing. Many drivers took local diversions, some suitable, some not. Culmington suffered due to the lack of a weight limit on the B4365 to restrict HGVs, especially later in the week as word got out among lorry drivers that this was a viable diversion. It would have been better if the road had been restricted to light vehicles and buses only.

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Update on the A49 Onibury closure from Network Rail

Network Rail has provided an update on the closure of the A49 at Onibury (see below). The work is on track and the line is expected to reopen at 6am next Monday, 10 July.

Traffic is flowing well around the local diversions. Why a weight restriction is not in place on the B4365, I do not know. There are far too many HGVs going through Culmington, which should have been designated a light traffic route.

There is obvious confusion about which divrsion route to take in both Craven Arms and  Ludlow. This morning a truck stopped on the Sheet Road roundabout to ask for directions. The driver spoke to three or four drivers, all the time blocking traffic.

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Network Rail drop-in sessions on July A49 corridor rail and road closures next week

Network Rail will be holding a public drop-in session at the Bishop Mascall Centre, Ludlow on Tuesday 13 June, 3-7pm. Their team will also be in Onibury on Wednesday and Craven Arms on Thursday. The sessions are to brief the public on the full closure of the A49 to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists between Saturday 1 July and Sunday 9 July. The rail line will be closed all day on the weekends of 1-2 July and 8-9 July with an hourly bus replacement.

This is in addition to previously planned weekend rail closures on 17-18 June and 24-25 June. That means that Ludlow’s rail line will be closed for four weekends in a row during the peak tourist season.

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Peak tourist season begins – so let’s close Shropshire’s transport network down

What do you call it? A cacophony of road and rail closures? A collision? Or perhaps a conspiracy?

Get ready for closure of the A5 overnight for three weeks. The A49 will be shut at Onibury 24-hours a day for ten days. Drivers will be directed via Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. The main exit from Ludlow town centre will be blocked for three days, so HGVs and coaches will be sent over Dinham Bridge and Whitcliffe. South Shrewsbury is already often gridlocked as the “hamburger” – served without fries – is installed at Meole Brace and Reabrook roundabout is resurfaced. Arriva Wales is stopping trains between Shrewsbury and Crewe for five hours just because there is a football match on. That’s on top of two weekend line closures.

This is truly a “chaos” of closures.

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Update on roadworks at top of Station Drive – a response from Western Power

Councillor Tracey Huffer and I have expressed our frustration at the length of time it is taking for roadworks at the junction of Station Drive with Upper Galdeford and Gravel Hill. Most of the time there are no workers on the site – except for the operative who sits in a van all day in case the temporary traffic lights fail. Town buses inbound to the town centre are being diverted via Weeping Cross and Old Street in an attempt to keep to timetable.

Now Western Power has responded to our complaints. Here is the company’s statement:

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