Road Closure – The Briars to Gordons Post, Questions and Answers

Q:What work will be done on this road?
A:There will be road maintenance works to: walls, railings, road structure and surfacing. Improvements are limited to road drainage.

Q:Why is the road closed all the time?
A:We are aiming to work extended hours, 7am to dusk, and at weekends. To work safely the road has to be closed.

Q:Why can’t the Roads Section work half and half?
A:At its widest the road is 6m wide, generally the wider section varies between 5.5 and 6m. To have a safe lane for traffic requires a 3m width which then only allows a 2.5 to 3m working area. This would also be limited to a 200m maximum length for control by our traffic signals. Below Captain Wrights Turning the width is mainly less than 5.5m which is too narrow for half and half working. The aim is to work in the wider section, allowing residents past, with a second site blocking the road lower down.

Q:Why isn’t the road open when work isn’t happening?
A:To make the work area safe for normal traffic would take up to an hour each afternoon and then a further period the following morning to return the road to a construction site. This equates to about an extra 2-3 weeks on the duration of the whole job.
With road structure and surfacing work the critical period to the quality is the first few hours after the work is carried out. Previously we have attempted to reopen both The Briars to 5-bar Gate, and Ladder Hill shortly after completing work and have experienced problems with both roads because it was reopened too early.

Q:How can I get to my friend’s house, or to the shop?
A:If you are visiting someone within the road closure you will be allowed access from one end. The link to the map below shows the initial arrangements for access to properties. Somerville Store is remaining open and customers will initially have access from the Gordons Post end of the road closure.

Q:If residents are allowed access why not everyone?
A:Residents will be allowed access to their homes from one end only; they will not have through access past the main work area.

Q:If emergency services are allowed access why not everyone?
A:Emergency Services are a special case. We accept that in an emergency we will have to move everything to the side to make way. For a 1 minute journey through the site we may lose an hour’s work putting things right and costing a few hundred pounds. This is nothing compared to someone’s life, but we can’t do this for every vehicle.

Q:What about Busses?
A:Busses will not be allowed through, but can come in to collect or drop off passengers. We have spoken with many of the bus operators explaining what they will and will not be able to do. If you are unsure how your bus will get you to work during the closure please speak to the operator. If you are an operator and are unsure what is going to happen please speak to Dave Malpas, Roads Manager (Contact details are below).

Q:Why is this work being done now?
A:We considered doing this work last summer; however co-ordinating with the logistics of the Airport Project during construction of the Haul Road would have been impractical. We therefore agreed to carry out this work this summer. It is my technical opinion that the road surface is at the end of its life and may well not survive another winter period. It is therefore most cost effective to make the repairs now before complete failure than to delay.

Q:I’m still unsure, how can I…?
A:Please email or call Dave on telephone number 23765.

The Roads Section apologises for the inconvenience caused, and thanks everyone who is working to make arrangements to cope with the disruption.

Dave Malpas, Roads Manager, 1 October 2013

Map – Road Closure from the Briars to Gordons Post


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