Anger at Sidmouth road closure

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 November 2010

Sidmouth roadworks along Vicarage Road opposite the Radway Cinema. Picture by Jess Dunn. Ref shs 8208-42-10JD

Sidmouth roadworks along Vicarage Road opposite the Radway Cinema. Picture by Jess Dunn. Ref shs 8208-42-10JD

Archant

FEARS a controversial road closure would leave Sidmouth’s town-centre looking “closed” in the crucial build-up to Christmas have been played down by highways chiefs.

FEARS a controversial road closure would leave Sidmouth’s town-centre looking “closed” in the crucial build-up to Christmas have been played down by highways chiefs.

Alarmed town councillors this week branded a further closure notice for Vicarage Road spanning from December 6 to January 28 as “absolutely scandalous.”

Current gas pipe work by a utility company, that will take place until November 19, has already irked residents and traders.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s (DCC) cabinet member for highways and transportation, revealed the new road closure notice relates to his authority’s bid to re-surface the stretch. He promised work WON’T start until the New Year.

Cllr Hughes also vowed DCC will erect signs at the current works reminding visitors Sidmouth is ‘open for business.’

Residents told the Herald this week diversion signs at the works were a “shambles.”

Town councillors voiced their anger at the situation on Monday.

“I’m fed up with it,” said Cllr Hughes, who visited the Vicarage Road site last week to find no-one there. “If it had been South West Highways I’d have been down on them like a ton of bricks,” he said, “It’s not fair to people paying for this work through the standing charge in their gas bills. Those customers should be absolutely appalled.”

“To me, when you look at the signs, it looks like Sidmouth is completely closed,” said Cllr Graham Liverton, who labelled any closure in the build-up to Christmas “absolutely scandalous.”

Council chairman Peter Sullivan said he saw one worker digging the road up, taking rubble to a dumper truck, then driving the truck away.

“The company that are doing this don’t seem to realise they are working on a major route into the town and they’re causing so much disruption,” he said.


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