Last-minute Ludlow road closure causing traffic chaos, say critics
A last-minute road closure has caused traffic chaos and left people with no transport links, critics have said.
The A4117 at Rocks Green in Ludlow shut yesterday morning and will remain closed until tomorrow afternoon while Severn Trent carries out urgent work.
It later reopened with temporary traffic lights in place, but Severn Trent announced on Wednesday evening it would be completely closed the following morning from 8am to allow the road to be repaired.
A one-hour diversion has been put in place, sending traffic all the way to Callow Hill, near Kidderminster, on a 35-mile round trip.
Rocks Green will not be served by any buses while the closure is in place.
Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, said: "The pipework is clapped out after decades of neglect by Severn Trent Water.
"The company has never bothered one jot about how much disruption it causes for its works.
"It is now going to close the A4117 for three peak business days for its own convenience.
"How will the 292 bus get to Kidderminster? How will those that live on Rocks Green get to the doctors if the 722 can’t pick them up and drop them off?"
Councillor Boddington said he and other councillors had lodged a complaint with Shropshire Council after finding out the closure had been agreed.
He added: "This work should never have been agreed. It is classified as an emergency. It is not. The pipe burst was an emergency. That is over.
"The road and pavement must be reinstated. This work should be done overnight and on Sundays.
"There is no need for a full road closure for three days. There is no need to block bus routes and isolate communities."
He also raised concerns over the high volume of traffic using Squirrel Lane to avoid the lengthy diversion.
Severn Trent said the closure was necessary to get the road back to a safe condition, and said it could not be done overnight as the new road surface needed time to dry properly.
After the burst pipe earlier in the week, it’s caused some damage to the road that we need to get back to normal and safe again. This is why we’ve got the emergency closure on.
A Severn Trent spokesperson said: “We’re currently working on the A4117 in Ludlow, putting the road back to normal following damage caused by the pipe that burst earlier in the week.
“So our teams can do this safely, and to keep road users safe – we’ve closed the road and worked with the council on an agreed diversion route.
“We are really sorry for the inconvenience this will cause, but it’s our absolute priority to get the road back to normal and safe again to use as quickly as we can.”
Despite criticism over the frequency of burst pipes in the area, Severn Trent confirmed yesterday that it had no plans to upgrade pipes in Ludlow. Councillor Tracey Huffer raised concerns that the situation would only get worse when a new development of 200 homes is built at Rocks Green.