Roadworks cause Crewkerne town centre traffic chaos
Seething Crewkerne residents have been voicing their exasperation this week after getting caught up in “nightmare” traffic caused by ongoing roadworks.
The work to replace a 600 metre gas main is being carried out by Morrison Utilities Service on behalf of Wales and West Utilities.
It started on East Street where residents and local traders say the work was carried out in exemplary fashion. But many now say its continuation into the centre of town has not been handled as well.
Temporary traffic lights have been set up and signs put in place, but Crewkerne is struggling to handle the massive build-up of traffic caused by the delays.
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Taxi driver Roger Woodland said on Tuesday: “It is absolutely chaotic at the moment, it took me 20 minutes to get from Church Street to the top of Mount Pleasant.
“East Street worked a dream but the work on Market Street is a nightmare. The bus stop has been moved from outside the George Hotel and there are traffic queues going up West Street, North Street and East Street – the whole town. It is chock-a-block.
“The Waitrose car park is empty because people are avoiding Crewkerne, it is chaotic gridlock.
“Personally, I am arriving 20 to 30 minutes late for jobs and if you go by the meter, £3 fares are becoming £15.
“A few other traders I’ve spoken to say they have noticed a drop in trade as well.”
Resident Liz Popham said: “There is a huge amount of traffic on North Street due to the roadworks – my husband was hassled by a tractor driver this afternoon for being inconsiderate enough to be walking on the pavement.
“This prevented the tractor from continuing along the pavement as a lorry was squeezing past in the other direction with lots of cars waiting to travel in both directions.
“My husband was pushing our baby in his pram at the time and yet was expected to get out of the way. It’s probably a good thing I wasn’t there.”
Steve Smith, owner of DailyzTech on Market Street said: “It is affecting trade but this has to be done.
“The guys working on this have looked at every possible way to do it and this is the best one.”
Facebook and Twitter users have also taken to the social networking sites to complain about delays.
Colin Langdon, operations controller for the Bristol at Morrison Utilities Service said: “We are thankful everything went well on East Street but delays in Crewkerne when we got to Market Square, especially on the corner where there is a cluster of pipes, are unavoidable.
“Obviously the big concern is the HGVs and large vehicles coming through. We are liaising with the highways authority and carrying out site visits. Our workers are starting early and finishing late.
“Once this corner of road is sorted out we will soon be out of everyone’s hair.”