ONE of Gainsborough’s busiest roads is to close for four days – causing much disruption and leaving many residents feeling ‘stranded’.
The A156 at Lea Road Railway Station will be subjected to a full road closure between 7pm Friday 5th August 2011 and 6am on Tuesday 9th August.
The closure is so that Network Rail can complete their work on replacing the rail bridge.
Rob Noble from Lincs Electrical and Plumbing Engineers runs his business from Lea Road and is concerned, but appreciates that it’s unavoidable.
“I’ll be spending extra money travelling from my house up to the back of beyond just to get into Gainsborough and I’m not happy about it but I don’t see how else they’ll do it without closing the road off,” he said. “If you live close to the fire then you’re going to get burned. It’s just a shame it’s on the main road but it’s got to be done and I just hope it doesn’t drag on for another week due to technicalities.”
Julie Anne Basil from Lea Road said: “I work up at Paragon on Heapham Road so it would be a nightmare and I’d feel completely cut off. Our neighbour takes taxis everywhere so she’ll be spending more too.”
Another resident from Lea Road West added: “I’m not happy because it’s such a pain. I live right next to it but I’ve got to go another three to four miles just to get to the other side and I feel stranded as all my family and friends live on the other side.”
“With the A156 being the main Lincoln to Gainsborough link, the road closure will inevitably cause temporary disruption for access to and from the Gainsborough area,” said Lincolnshire area highway manager Steve Wiles.
“There is never a good time to close a main strategic route but at least with the Network Rail project being planned in the school holiday period, the school run will not be disrupted for families.”
He continued: “A diversion route will be signed via the A631 to the east to Caenby Corner roundabout and the A15 south towards Lincoln.”
“The local radio stations will be informed to notify motorists of the roadworks and it is hoped the through traffic will find alternative routes and avoid this area.”
He added: “Local traffic will be able to use the more local roads for access.”
However, those wishing to travel to and from Gainsborough on the bus will also face disruption.
“We have been assured that access will be granted for the services buses on Monday 8th August, but this will not be possible for the Saturday 6th August,” said Stagecoach spokeman Shaun Clark.
“Despite our best efforts it will not be possible to operate any of our services via Lea Road Railway Station, Lea Road, Lea Green, or Knaith Park, on Saturday 6th August.”
Bus services 100 and 107 which operate between Lincoln, Gainsborough and Scunthorpe will operate via the following diversion route: Foxby Hill, Foxby Lane, Heapham Road, Long Lane, Padmore Lane Upton, then onto the correct route from Kexby Corner.
He added: “We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause to passengers, but this matter is beyond our control, due to the work by Network Rail.”
A spokesman from Network Rail said: “This is a complicated piece of work because the site is very tight.”
“Every effort has been made to minimise the disruption caused, with the main works deliberately planned during the school holidays. In the end we will have a smart new bridge which will last for a further 120 years.”
He added: “The old and new structure will be moved using tyre mounted heavy lifting platforms and during this time the road will be closed, though Network Rail will allow access whenever it is safe to do so.”
Lea Road West resident Monica Barnes said that it wasn’t much of an issue.
“It’s something they’ve got to do if they want to make it safe,” she said. “They’ve put letters through our door so it’s not as if it’s going to come as a surprise and we can re-arrange things and ensure we’ve got milk and bread in.”