Anger after Severn Trent emergency works close Shropshire road
Severn Trent Water has been accused of causing more chaos on Shropshire roads after a short-notice closure shut the road between two rural villages.
School buses, commuters and the service bus between Snailbeach and Stiperstones all found themselves turned away when they ran into unexpected roadworks.
The water company said no notice could be given as it was an emergency closure, but this has not gone down well with residents who reported the leak more than two months ago.
Councillor Heather Kidd, who represents Chirbury and Worthen, said: "Severn Trent fail to deal with leaks until they get pretty serious. They ignore problems until things get worse and then suddenly close a road, claiming its an emergency.
“A leak was reported to them on July 5, and repeatedly thereafter, but nothing happened until they closed the road to all traffic, quoting emergency powers. This caused chaos.
“There was no warning whatsoever and the information given out by the workmen was poor and frequently inaccurate."
The closure, last week, was first planned for three days, but after pressure from Shropshire Council it was reduced to one.
Councillor Kidd said the incident was only the latest in a string of similar events in recent months, and said it was the same situation across the county.
She added: "I have had enough of this kind of behaviour and I will be seeking an urgent meeting with their chief executive. Not only is this type of behaviour causing residents a lot of problems but it cant be doing Severn Trent’s public image much good either."
Severn Trent spokesman Stuart Henry said: “We always prioritise leaks which are causing water supply issues in customers’ homes or businesses. When reported in July, the small leak was not causing water supply problems and therefore we were in discussions with the local council about planning the work and a road closure.
"However, when the pipe burst earlier this month, we treated it as an emergency and our team reacted quickly to repair it and get the road back open on the same day.
“To keep our engineers and other road users safe we had to close the road to get the job done and we apologise for any delays which were caused.”
It is the third time this week the company has had to apologise over road works in Shropshire, after work in Shrewsbury overran and led to the closure of Ellesmere Road, and temporary traffic lights caused disruption on the A49 in Craven Arms.