Sewer works spark congestion fears

By Tim Clarke Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 15:52

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Buy photos » Ombersley Road will be closed to traffic coming into the city for five weeks. 0513017MMR.

MOTORISTS are bracing themselves for weeks of lengthy delays when a busy main route into the city closes for major sewer works next month.

Ombersley Road will be shut to traffic coming into Worcester between Checketts Lane and its junction with Barbourne Road for five weeks from February 17.

The closure is to allow Severn Trent Water to carry out a £300,000 project to fit new pipework and install a small pumping station that will help protect residents on Barbourne Road and Sunnyside Road from sewer flooding.

A public meeting was held on Wednesday where businesses and residents were given the chance to learn more about the project and share their views.

But one Barbourne resident who contacted the Standard and asked not to be named said the closure would cause major disruption.

"Anyone who lives in this area knows how busy the road is at the best of times so to close it in one direction for five weeks will be disastrous - I cannot understand why it has to take so long," he added.

City councillor Jabba Riaz (Cons/Cathedral) does not represent the ward but said he had been contacted by a number of residents who had serious concerns.

He has now called for the public to have more say in the decision-making process over major roadworks.

"People know the work has to be done but they are just questioning whether it needs to be closed for this long," he said.

"A lot of the time there is a genuine perception that roadworks could be completed a lot quicker."

The project will run from February 10 until mid-April and will include the closure of Sunnyside Road with temporary traffic lights operating on Barbourne Road while work is carried out there.

During the Ombersley Road closure traffic will be diverted along Checketts Lane and onto the A38 Droitwich Road.

Frank Thompson, area manager at Severn Trent Water, said they would do their best to minimise disruption having worked closely with Worcestershire County Council's Highways team.

Jon Fraser, the council's Highways Manager said: "The first part of the work is scheduled during the school half term when roads are generally quieter and the section of Ombersley Road will only be closed one way, meaning that vehicles heading out of the city will be unaffected. Traffic heading into the city will only face a short diversion and traffic signals at the Tollhouse lights will also be switched off so vehicles will be able to flow freely to further help minimise disruption."

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