Bloor Homes have planning permission to build on the site at Woods Lane, Melton and they require connection of utilities to existing mains and where necessary to supply new mains in order that they can support the homes that will be connected to them. As part of the planning agreement various other highway improvements were agreed such as footway construction and improvements, cycle paths, junction improvements, resurfacing and bus stops.
Utility companies have a statutory duty to supply and maintain their network and they do not require permission from the Highway Authority to do this, although they must notify us of their proposed works.
Information and frequently asked questions are available below.
Why was a road closure agreed?
The Highway Authority’s Network Management Duty is carried out by the Network Assurance Team and we have a statutory duty to coordinate those notifications of work we receive to see that clashes are avoided, works undertakers collaborate and share sites where possible and ensure that disruption is minimised for ALL highway users, not just motor vehicles but also pedestrians, cyclists and horses.
We do not have the power to refuse utility works, we must work with them to find the most suitable time and agree the most suitable method of traffic management for both the safety of the work force and highway users. Bloor’s planning permission was granted and the utilities need to be provided for the site and we must facilitate this.
All other methods and options of traffic management were assessed and discussed but unfortunately, could not be utilised at this stage.
What are the works taking place?
Various utilities are being installed at the Woods Lane site, but the largest of these is some 500m of sewer which leaves the site and runs towards the traffic lights at the bottom of the hill. The proposed works, the location of connections in the highway and the width of the carriageway mean that the contractor working on behalf of Bloor Homes cannot guarantee to maintain the required minimum passing width for all traffic at all times.
Bloor Homes have been given locations from Anglian Water where the new sewer must connect to Anglian Water’s network, which dictates the route of the pipe. After careful consideration of the work required, the working methods proposed, the space available, the proximity of the A12 junction and above all the safety of the workforce and highway users, Woods Lane will need a complete closure. Should works progress and change in a way that would allow lesser traffic management, we will ensure this is implemented.
Inspection of works
Another part of Suffolk County Council’s Network Management Duty is to monitor and Inspect works taking place on the public highway to ensure work is progressing and that there are no unreasonable delays. The duration of works has been agreed based on the detailed information for the works that need to be carried out. The duration is reasonable in terms of the scale of works and limitations present.
We have requested Bloor Homes to ensure their contractors are working long days and weekends and night working has not been ruled out although this will depend on the proximity of properties nearby. It has been made clear to Bloor Homes that extensions to their works duration will not be given unless there are exceptional circumstances to warrant it. To continue working beyond the proposed end date of works without agreement from the Network Assurance Team will attract heavy fines on a daily basis, therefore it is in the interest of the contractor to work the hours and supply the resources required to meet the schedule.
Road closure access and diversion route
Access and egress to properties within the closure will be granted when works and safe passage permit. This means there may be a short wait whilst the workforce make it safe to pass. Access may be from a specific end of the closure determined by the works, it does not mean passage is available from one end of the closure to the other.
Pedestrians and cyclists may pass through the closure at all times. Please follow instructions from the workforce and Traffic Management operatives when they are present.
Arrangements have been made for school transport through Suffolk County Council’s Passenger Transport team and the school will be made aware of any issues that will affect them by Passenger Transport. The crossing point on the A12 will not be affected.
Road closures are not subject to consultation. Whilst Network Assurance strongly recommend works promoters carry out public relations and provide as much detail as possible about the necessity of their works and how they intend to carry them out, there is no legal obligation to do so. The Network Assurance team notify Police, Fire, Ambulance and Passenger Transport as standard. The details of the closure and the diversion are then published on www.roadworks.org and the closure is also advertised in various newspapers.
The decision to create two diversion routes for this closure was made in order to send HGV traffic north of Melton and back via Ufford along the B1438 and all other traffic south on the A12 and back via Woodbridge. This will separate the volume of traffic over two routes and will accommodate the type of traffic along the most suitable category of roads.
Many people may find other local routes that are not part of the official diversion route and we are unable to stop drivers from using these routes, similarly some use of other roads will ease pressure at potential problem areas. Misuse of routes by prohibited vehicles where weight restrictions exist and speeding vehicles should be reported to the Police.
Many people have made suggestions and requests for additional signage, speed restrictions, cones, other road closures and parking restrictions. Whilst we take those suggestions and requests on board we must ensure that we only place traffic management that is absolutely necessary. A scatter gun approach across the entire surrounding area could be confusing and may put highway users at risk. For restrictions to be useful, they also need to be enforced and only the Police can enforce the law. The Network Assurance Team along with Bloor Homes, Howard Construction and Palmer Traffic Management will be monitoring the entire situation particularly during the initial month. This will enable us to ensure the second phase has any additions and alterations as required. This includes monitoring the permanent traffic light timings.
The diversion route can be seen on www.roadworks.org by changing the dates viewable and ensuring Road Works and Road Closures and Diversions layers are visible. For help using www.roadworks.org please see here: https://www.elgin.org.uk/support
Emergency services have been notified of the closure and the diversion route.
Issues with the works should be directed to Bloor Homes on email@example.com
Issues with access or egress or closure/diversion signs should be directed to Palmer Traffic Management Ltd. 01473 834960 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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