Last weekend saw yet another closure of the A13 to enable widening work that’s not compatible with traffic zooming past at speed. Way back in the past when we went to a public CONsultation organised by Kier to explain what would be happening with the widening, we were assured that weekend closures would be kept to a minimum. We’ve now reached the point where we’ve lost count of the number of weekend closures of the A13 we’ve had to put up with.
The official advice when the A13 is closed is for traffic to divert all the way up to the A127. Some people may dutifully be doing that. It feels like the majority of people aren’t doing that. That’s most likely down to this suggested diversion being a massive slog that will add at least half an hour to the time of a journey.
Every time there’s a closure, there’s a massive increase in the volume of traffic going through Stanford-le-Hope and the surrounding villages. This means congestion, increased pollution and elevated risks of accidents. For what feels like weekend after weekend with no let up.
If Kier and the sponsors of the A13 widening, Thurrock Council, were open and honest about why the number of weekend closures has gone way past what was originally forecasted, perhaps residents would be more understanding. Most of us are savvy enough to know that with any civil engineering project, there will always be snags and glitches which will potentially delay completion. The point is, because Kier and Thurrock Council have both been very tight lipped about what these issues are, residents are understandably getting very fed up.
All of this, as we’ve said a few times before, leads to the feeling that planning is something that’s being done to us rather than a process we have any active say or stake in. This applies as much to a road widening project as it does to a housing development. Both Kier and Thurrock Council owe residents affected by these closures an explanation as to what’s going on and also, a full, unreserved apology. Like the completion of the A13 widening, these are long overdue…