Workmen at risk as drivers defy closure

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MOTORISTS are putting themselves and workmen at risk by defying orders for a road closure in Holbeach Fen.

Drivers are said to be in “considerable danger” from ignoring roadwork barriers which have been blocking access to Raven’s Bank.

Sue Cooper, the county’s senior highways officer, said: “Unfortunately, when gatemen are not on site, motorists are actually moving the barriers out of the way, in some cases even throwing them into the dyke.

“This dangerously leaves a live works site open for other unsuspecting drivers to potentially enter.

“The road is being planed down to quite a depth across the full width, so could easily damage a vehicle or even see them leave the road.

“Not only is this dangerous, it also costs taxpayers money as we have to retrieve the discarded barriers and often need to replace them.”

Lincolnshire County Council closed off the road for four lots of work on Monday, October 10.

It includes Anglian Water diverting a main drain, highways contractors rebuilding the road following drought damage and movement alongside South Holland Main Drain and rebuilding the deck on Raven’s Gate Bridge, and South Holland Internal Drainage Board stabilising the bank.

Mrs Cooper has warned the legal road closure means that if an accident happened, the drivers’ insurance would not be valid.

She added: “We fully appreciate that road closures can be frustrating, but this is crucial work to make the road safe for everyone’s use in the long-term, especially ahead of the coming winter weather.”

The work is due to be completed by November 30.

District councillor Bob Creese, ward member for Whaplode and Holbeach St Johns, said no issues with the road closure had been reported to him.

But he added: “Traffic on Raven’s Bank and the speed of that traffic has been an issue for quite some time.

“Highways have been involved in several schemes to monitor the situation. They do accept there is a speeding issue but it’s the same problem we all face, not just in South Holland but throughout the county.

“The police do not have the resources available to stand with a camera checking speed.”