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Key road in Hullbridge to be closed
3:40pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
A ROAD which acts as a vital link to a village could be closed for up to five months for bridge repairs.
Tailbacks are a weekly occurrence, and the road often floods during bad weather.
Work is due to begin for up to 12 weeks on October 14, and a second round of repairs is planned for January 6 for ten weeks.
Work was due to begin in August, but District and County Councillor Michael Hoy has so far managed to have work halted whilst he challenges Essex Highways.
Mr Hoy said: “I have been talking with Essex Highways on this, pointing out the problems we all faced last year and earlier this year when Watery Lane was closed for a number of days due to flooding, and the large tailbacks and delays we faced getting out of Hullbridge, as well as the problems caused to local businesses.
He added: “I find this totally unacceptable. Watery Lane will be closed for pretty much half a year causing chaos to this part of Essex. Essex Highways have failed to consider the implications to local residents or to consult with us.”
Mr Hoy added that Essex Highways have assured him that they will monitor traffic and will put in mitigating measures should the traffic become to heavy, but he hasn’t seen any plans as to how this would be done.
He added: “Effectively, Essex Highways are ignoring me and ploughing on with the scheme having failed to assess the impact of closure.”
There are fears the closure will means residents are late for school and work, doctors appointments could be missed and local businesses will suffer as a result of drivers finding alternative routes.
Danny Gatehouse, a parish councillor and community building manager for the fire service said: “The issue with the road is that it’s not recognised by highways as a main road, just a cut through, but it’s used by so many people from not just Hullbridge but around the area. People use it to get to Chelmsford to avoid the main roads.
“Already when the road is open the accumulation of traffic from Watery Lane can sometimes build up past the entrance to the village from Hockley for up to a mile”
“The cost of this is going to be phenomenal to schools and kids missing their education.”
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