Councils may not have to advertise road closures in local press

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A “NIGHTMARE” scenario could develop for drivers if possible changes are made to the way road closures are advertised.

The Department of Transport is carrying out a consultation on plans to remove the need for councils to inform residents where roadworks will affect traffic by placing public notices in local newspapers such as the Spalding Guardian.

It says the move will save highways authorities across the country in excess of £20million.

But South Holland councillors have expressed their concern, saying it is important that people are properly informed if roads are to be closed for any reason if confusion and frustration are to be avoided.

Coun Nick Worth said: “In my personal opinion if public notices did not appear in newspapers it would be a nightmare because they are vital in letting people know when there is a road closure so they can then plan accordingly.

“I could see people getting aggravated if they are out and about and just find a road they wanted to use is closed.”

And Coun Gary Taylor fears the local economy could be damaged if road closures are not advertised properly as deliveries to and from local factories could be affected.

He said: “I appreciate we need to cut costs where we can but we need a sensible solution. It needs to be thought about carefully.”

Lincolnshire County Council has said it plans to respond to the DoT consultation before the April 23 deadline.

Assistant director of highways and transportation Paul Coathup said: “The authority does need to save £125million from its budget over the next four years and it makes sense to look at measures that could help reduce costs.

“We will consider fully what this means for Lincolnshire and respond in due course.

“We do promote any key highways improvement and road closures as a matter of course through all the local media to help make residents aware, as well as make good use of our website.

“Whatever the outcome of the consultation, we will continue to use whatever means are possible to help keep people informed and moving on the county’s roads.”