Incomplete roadworks could create chaos during Ludlow Food Festival

Ludlow’s Mayor Tim Gill and Shropshire Councillor Andy Boddington are warning that incomplete roadworks in Ludlow could create havoc during next week’s Food Festival.

Tim Gill explains:

“Shropshire Council surface gritted Corve Street several weeks ago. This is one of the two main roads that lead into the town centre. But the council hasn’t repainted any white or yellow lines. The chaos has led to bus and loading bays being full of parked cars. That has prevented buses safely discharging passengers. Delivery lorries have blocked the highway causing tailbacks because the loading bays are full of cars.

“Given what it is like now, the prospect for the Food Festival this weekend is dire. Buses will be unable to safely discharge and collect people without the road being blocked to other traffic.”

“We need the Food Festival to work well. Shropshire Council must step up to mark and it must do it quickly. I see no signs of it doing so.”

Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, says:

“We get hour by hour updates on roadworks in Shrewsbury. But is impossible to get any information from Shropshire Council on what is happening in Ludlow week in week out.

“The council tells me that it has a serious problem with its highway contractor Ringway. The council says it has no clue what is happening day to day on road repairs. It can take two to three days for officers to get a response from Ringway. Yet this company is being paid millions from the public purse to keep the county’s roads up to scratch. Anyone driving around will know that our roads are not up to scratch.

“Taxpayers’ money is quite literally going down the drain in late and incompetent repairs. One street in Ludlow has had to be resurfaced three times because the contractor failed to get it right. I do not know why Shropshire Council continues to pay its highway contractors when they are not delivering the road maintenance this county needs.”

 

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.

Continue reading “Peak tourist season begins – so let’s close Shropshire’s transport network down”