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Agencies deny responsibility as A49 roadworks continue

By Jonny Drury | Bayston Hill | Transport | Published: | Last Updated:

Roadworks are still causing delays on one of the county's main roads, with confusion over who is responsible for the repairs.

Work to repair a collapsed manhole on the A49 in Bayston Hill

Traffic lights were installed on the A49 in Bayston Hill earlier this week as work began to fix a collapsed manhole cover, causing tailbacks to the A5 Dobbies Roundabout and beyond.

Frustrated drivers took to social media to complain as delays of around 20 minutes were still causing issues on Thursday, with traffic also held up as far as the Emstrey Island at rush hour.

However it still remains unclear as to who installed the traffic lights at the junction of Hereford Road and Lyth Hill Road.

Responsibility

Shropshire Council and Highways England have both said the work isn't being carried out by them.

It was believed Severn Trent were responsible, but the water company stated it was BT Openreach who were fixing the road.

However a spokesman for BT Openreach then said the work was "100 per cent" not being carried out by them.

Work to repair a collapsed manhole on the A49 in Bayston Hill

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Gary Parton, traffic manager with Shropshire Council, said: "This work is being carried out by Openreach on a road that is the responsibility of Highways England.

"Shropshire Council therefore has no jurisdiction over this work.

"However, we are aware that this work is causing severe disruption on the surrounding roads and causing many problems for road users.

"We will therefore be contacting Highways England and Openreach to raise our concerns and to ask that this work is concluded at the earliest opportunity.”

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Work to repair a collapsed manhole on the A49 in Bayston Hill

In a further confusing development, Severn Trent contradicted its earlier statement in a tweet to Burnell councillor Dan Morris and said that the lights had been installed by them.

'Huge inconvenience'

Mr Morris called for the work to be finished as soon as possible to end locals' frustration.

He said: "The repair is an emergency collapsed manhole repair on the A49 which is a Highways England road repair and not a Shropshire Council.

"The work can’t be done at night because of potential noise to nearby residents.

"The Shropshire Council team had no knowledge the repair was taking place until I called them Wednesday morning and then sent an inspector around.

"I have been doing pretty much nothing but chase this issue for the past two days now because so my constituents in Burnell Ward live south of Bayston Hill.

"I’ve been told it will be fixed very soon, but it is clearly a huge inconvenience to everyone, particularly as that stretch of road has had that many roadworks in the past two years.

"It is also frustrating being sat in a queue and not seeing any work going on.

"Generally I would like to see more joined up thinking between the agencies involved and Shropshire Council so as to minimise disruption, although in this case it can’t be helped because of it being an emergency."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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