'A disaster': Shrewsbury council leader calls for probe into roadworks
A council leader has called for urgent action over the disruption caused by successive roadworks in Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury Town Council leader Alan Mosley described the impact of road works on the town as a "disaster".
Now he wants a Shropshire Council taskforce to investigate the planning of the work.
He said: "Clearly traffic disruption in and around Shrewsbury has been a disaster for a very long time, which can only harm business and the accessibility of our town, but also causes massive inconvenience for residents in getting about the place.
"I really do think it is time to set up a task and finish group to investigate all aspects of the way in which our road works are planned, implemented and monitored."
The news comes after months of disruption in the town with significant work taking place at Meole Brace roundabout, Sutton Park roundabout, Reabrook roundabout and the English Bridge Gyratory/Coleham Head.
In recent weeks Wyle Cop has been the latest area affected.
All the work is being carried out as part of £12 million Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP) being completed by Shropshire Council.
The authority has argued that the work will improve traffic flow in the town.
Councillor Mosley said he had been inundated with complaints over the work.
He said: "The Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package works seem to go on forever. I'm constantly receiving complaints about the delays and massive inconvenience and questions about why the work can't be completed more quickly.
"It's time that we really did have a close examination of how this is being managed.
"I've been thinking for some time that this needs investigating and I intend to press to get this queried."
New traffic delays
New traffic delays are likely in six areas of Shrewsbury starting today and tomorrow as multi-way traffic signals are put in place – although the latest works are not part of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Plan.
Two-way signals have been put in place on The Mount while Openreach installs a new street cabinet and BT duct in the footpath. The work is due to end on Friday.
Meanwhile, Severn Trent started work on Roman Road yesterday near Porthill roundabout and also began work north of 1 Upper Road, Roman Road today.
Traffic signals and stop/go boards are in place for both.
The work near Porthill roundabout will finish tomorrow and the work north of 1 Upper Road will finish on Friday.
There will also be multi-way signals on Copthorne Road from today until tomorrow and Overdale Road, Bayston Hill, until Monday.
Severn Trent Water will be completing the work on Copthorne Road and Cadent Gas will be working in Overdale Road.
On the A488 at Hanwood village there will be two-way traffic signals tomorrow to allow Openreach to install a new pole.
Traffic delays are possible in Granville Street until tomorrow and Upper Road until Friday as Severn Trent carries out work.
There will be multi-way signals in place for both sets of road works.
Later this year work will be carried out in Shrewsbury town centre, including the "upgrading" of Pride Hill, under the SITP plans.
Shropshire Council response
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Since spring 2016 a programme of roadworks and road improvements has been taking place across Shrewsbury.
“These works fall into three categories: essential work by utilities companies; works related to current and future housing developments; and work being carried out as part of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP), which aims to reduce traffic and make it easier for drivers and pedestrians to get into and around the town.
“These important works will maintain local highways and utility services around the town to the highest standards, and deliver major investment in further improvements required for the continued growth of Shrewsbury’s housing and town centre economy.
"Though some short-term disruption for road users is unfortunately inevitable, to minimise disruption and inconvenience to residents, businesses and visitors, all works are carefully programmed by Shropshire Council, developers, and our utility company partners, who meet on a regular basis to plan, agree and co-ordinate forthcoming work –taking into account all planned major events in the town.
“We’re also currently receiving lots of ‘emergency/urgent’ unplanned work applications from Severn Trent Water due to mains bursts following last week’s freeze and subsequent thaw – the current closure on the Mount is one of these Such works have to be accommodated and we liaise closely with Severn Trent to prioritise them.”