A303 danger: Highways Agency replies(December 19, 2008)
Sally Cains from the Highways Agency's Bristol office has replied to our concerns over the A303 closure proposal
Dear Mr Dancey,
Than you for your email of 10 December about the A303.
There has been some press coverage that does not reflect the current position about the planned closure of the A303.
I wanted to assure you that the Highways Agency is urgently reviewing the proposed works, and that there will not be a 12 week closure.
The A303 is an important route into the south west and is in need of maintenance to ensure that it is in good condition and safe for road users.
In planning the A303 Willoughby Hedge to Mere major maintenance scheme, the Highways Agency have contacted stakeholder groups.
From the comments received following Public Information Days and the Stakeholder Consultation held about this major scheme, the Agency recognised that a proposed road closure of 12 weeks is not acceptable to many road users.
The maintenance work planned is essential because there have been 16 road defects within the last year requiring immediate attention as they threatened public safety or serious damage to the highway infrastructure. Overall, there were a further 206 defects in the same period that were less serious but still required repairs to be made.
The Highways Agency with its contractor, is currently undertaking a full review of the scheme in response to the concerns raised.
This review will include the construction programme, the extent and type of works and the need to reduce the impact and inconvenience of this scheme to road users and the general public.
The brief for the review is to develop a scheme which will have less significant impact than originally proposed.
Once this review is complete, early in the New Year, the revised proposals will be announced.