Thursday, March 29, 2007

The cones of Hereford, a response.

Following my post yesterday, I was so annoyed at the delays caused by these workmen in Hereford that I sent an email last night to Herefordshire Council to complain. Their response to my email was extremely quick and I am happy to accept their explanations.

The lane closures were not authorised by the Council or the Highways Agency and were imposed at the whim of the contractors. When the council heard about the delays they contacted the Highways Agency and the situation was quickly resolved. I have no criticism therefore of the Council or the Highways Agency and I am pleased that they quickly talked these awkward workmen into line. Common sense prevailed in the end.

In the public interest I reproduce below the reply I received from Herefordshire Council...

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your enquiry.

As you are aware the delays you experienced on the were due to traffic control having been placed on the 'ASDA' roundabout by contractors undertaking landscaping works at the site. These measures were instigated without the knowledge of the Council and in this case without the approval of the Highways Agency who are responsible for this particular site and both the A49T and A465T the roads that lead to and from this roundabout.

I have to make the point that it is the Highways Agency and not Herefordshire Council who are the Highway Authority responsible for these particular roads and the management of the works that take place on them. That said, Herefordshire Council as the highway authority for the non-trunk roads in the County and as the Local Authority clearly has a duty to represent the people of Herefordshire and those who travel through the County.

On being made aware of the problems being experienced, particularly on the A465T, I did call the Highways Agency requesting their intervention. As a result of this call the Highways Agency established, through their local agents that this work had been initiated without their full knowledge or supervision. Instructions to stop work and revise the traffic control arrangements were then issued at around 12.40pm. Following this action the traffic delay subsided.

It is regrettable that you had to experience such delays, as we had put into place many notification arrangements with the Highways Agency, their Agents and Contractors with the sole purpose of preventing such problems. Clearly these arrangements were ignored on this occasion, a matter that we have taken up with the Highways Agency.

In normal operation the 'ASDA' roundabout is now working well, particularly since the traffic lights system has switched to run on a system called SCOOT, which we run in partnership with the Highways Agency on this and a number of other junctions throughout the city.

In direct response to your final questions, the lane closure was unauthorised, it should have been by the Highways Agency, who, as a consequence will have provided the travelling public and ourselves with proper information/notice.

I hope this provides you with the answers you require, if you'd like any further information please contact myself directly.



Mr Clive Hall

Area Manager (Central)

Highways and Transportation

Herefordshire Council

Tel: 01432 260786

Fax 01432 261983
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