Chamber ‘tired of long queues’ and call for works to be completed quickly

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce have pushed for the works to be completed as soon as possible. Picture:

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce have pushed for the works to be completed as soon as possible. Picture: Clarissa Place - Credit: Archant

Traders have led calls to speed up the completion of sewer works along a main route in Sidmouth.

Work began last Monday (June 17) for essential sewer works on Station Road, near to the junction with Manor Road.

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce spoke to South West Water (SWW) about the disruptions to traffic, saying there has been inadequate signage and lack of activity.

SWW and its contractors are currently clearing out 87 metres of sewers on Station Road to reduce the risk of blockages and sewer flooding.

A chamber spokesman said: "The chamber intends to take the matter further, and will call upon the county council and utility companies to do everything possible to avoid busy times of the year, and to conduct works in a speedy and timely manner. We are tired of long queues of traffic being held up by roadworks where no-one is actually working."

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The water company says it has faced delays but expects to complete the work by Tuesday (July 2). A SWW spokesman said: "The section of pipe has now been cleaned to remove any fats, oil, grease and other materials to ensure wastewater can flow freely.

"This took longer than expected due to the amount of debris discovered. Relining the sewer and reinstatement of the road will now take place."

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Councillor Stuart Hughes also spoke to the company and addressed complaints about inadequate signage. Cllr Hughes, head of highways at Devon County Council (DCC), said: "Unfortunately works such as these have to be carried out and as Sidmouth is basically a cul-de-sac in that those coming to the town are doing so because they want to. It's never going to be easy for the statutory undertakers to find good times to programme the works."

Currently, DCC operates a 'noticing' regime whereby works promoters tell the council when they are planning on working and seek permission.

On Tuesday, DCC's scrutiny committee discussed moving to a permit scheme.

Cllr Hughes added: "The alternative arrangement being considered is to introduce a permit scheme. Under these arrangements, works promoters would have to ask for our permission to work which we could approve, reject or set various conditions upon, giving us greater control on what is happening on the network."

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