'It's going to be a disaster' - Councils and businesses slam roadwork announcement
PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:52 28 September 2018
Work to repair a collapsed sewer which could see up to 15 weeks of roadworks on a major through-road have been described as a "disaster".
Anglian Water will carry out work on Station Square in Lowestoft from Monday, October 1, to run for “approximately five weeks”.
The emergency work has been described as “frustrating” and “incredibly unwelcome” by councillors, while businesses have said it will impact the town in the run up to Christmas.
And there was further frustration as some road signs reported the work would only take four weeks.
The work will shut the road going south between the Katwijk Way junction and the Battery Green Road junction, with vehicles diverted up Katwijk Way to St Peter’s Street, before turning south down Battery Green Road towards the Bascule Bridge, a 1.4 mile diversion.
The A47 junction with Commercial Road - turning left from the northbound lane of the A47 - will then also be shut for the repair work for 10 weeks, starting as soon as the Station Square work is completed, lasting until at least mid-January.
A diversion will see vehicles go north down Battery Green Road, before performing a u-turn on the Whapload Road roundabout, travelling south before turning right into Commercial Road for part of the work.
Then, vehicles will be unable to turn right into the road from the northbound lane, and will be diverted via the ASDA roundabout south of the Bascule Bridge.
Mark Bee, leader of Waveney District Council, said the disruption is “incredibly unwelcome”.
He said: “We are greatly concerned about the impact that this will have on traffic through the town. It is a busy route and as we gear up towards Christmas, disruption is incredibly unwelcome.
“Because these are emergency works there is nothing we can do to prevent them from taking place – however I will personally be seeking reassurance from Anglian Water regarding how quickly and efficiently the work can be concluded and the efforts that they will make to engage with and understand the concerns of local people and businesses.”
Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues at Suffolk County Council, added: “It is frustrating that Anglian Water needed to carry out these works on such a busy route in Lowestoft.”
Businesses also warned of the impact of any disruption, with Chris Trindall, who owns several properties in the town, saying the work will be “disaster”.
He said: “It’s going to cause huge problems in the run-up to Christmas.
“It’s going to be a disaster. I know people from the north end of town who don’t come into Lowestoft at the moment - this will make it even worse.”
Regan Harris, from Anglian Water, said: “We appreciate this sewer is on a busy main road and we’re very sorry for any inconvenience the work may cause.
“We hate disrupting customers and road users but the work needs to be carried out and we’ll be doing everything we can to minimise disruption.”