Council criticised over Southwick road closure extension

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A resident is outraged that – apparently with no warning – a council extended a road closure for an extra fortnight.

Hampshire County Council has extended the closure of the B2177 Southwick road for a further two weeks due to drainage works.

Steve Holmes, a neighbour of the area, has expressed his anger at the lack of information about the execution of the work and its subsequent extension.

‘About six weeks ago, Hampshire County Council completely closed the road and put in a six-mile detour, which costs people extra fuel, time, and increased pollution,’ he said.

‘That was supposed to end on February 28th but at the beginning of this week, they extended it to another two weeks, meaning that this main road would have been closed for two months.

‘Let’s say there would be a plan for an electricity shutdown. Then, the electricity company will write to the neighbours to explain the situation. They just put a sign up, and now they are extended further for another two weeks, it’s ridiculous!

‘It is a main route, and it is a very, very busy road and now people are driving eight miles more a day. They have got articulated lorries going around the detour route, which is very dangerous. It is completely unacceptable’.

The works on B2177 Southwick Road, Wickham, between The Old Rectory and Meadows End, which started on January 9, are being carried out as essential drainage improvements and repairs to existing systems, ditches or ponds.

Mr Holmes continued: ‘All of a sudden, because either they hadn’t done the job properly or didn’t estimate the job properly, they closed it for another two weeks. Who’s to say that it is not going to be even longer?’

Hampshire County Council said that before the works started it shared a notification via local media, sent letters to local residents and businesses, shared information with Winchester City Council and Wickham Parish Council, and posted updates on social media.

‘There were also advance warning signs erected on site to inform people who live outside of the area where letters had been delivered,’ the council said.

‘We are committed to ensuring, as far as possible, that local residents are always made aware in advance of planned works starting and we do everything we can to minimise disruption.

‘Unfortunately, these particular works have been delayed by very wet weather earlier in the year and also a gas leak which Southern Gas Networks had to investigate and repair.

‘Last month the signs were updated and Winchester City Council, Wickham Parish Council and all other local parishes affected were informed by letter’, HCC said.

Works are expected to be completed by Friday March 17th

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