Letters: We were not consulted over closure

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On May 27, a letter from the Highways and Transport Section at Lincolnshire County Council headed ‘Advance Notification Of Road Improvements’ was hand-delivered to us residents along St Thomas’s Road.

It is to do with the resurfacing and reconstruction of the carriageway from the top at Winsover Road through to Green Lane.

The road will be fully closed on three separate Sundays, namely July 13, 20 and 27.

According to their letter and I quote “In order to minimise disruption to the majority of the travelling public the works will be carried out at night, between 4pm and 12am.

The contractor will persevere to keep the noise from the works during this night work to a minimum.”

The letter goes on to say that the decision to proceed with these works has been taken and full consideration been given to alternative means of construction and traffic management etc etc.

I would like to say that absolutely NO consideration was given to the residents of St Thomas’s Road and that absolutely NOBODY along here was asked or consulted about having these roadworks done between 4pm and 12am and/or beyond for three consecutive Sundays.

The Plumb Centre is closed on Sunday. The churches normally finish any of their services around 11am and once the parishoners have left, the road is pretty quiet from around noon onwards. There are only four bus services in each direction from Spalding to Peterborough run by Stagecoach. There are also few big lorries either. So I’m sure it’s not any of them who asked for the road to be closed at 4pm. There is however one business that WILL be affected – Aldi.

The only reason why the roadworks will begin at 4pm on each of these Sundays is because Aldi closes at 4pm and it seems to me they’ve told the LCC Highways what Aldi want done so that it doesn’t affect their trade on Sunday. Since big businesses like Aldi have far more sway and clout than residents, it’s convenient for them to trade as normal on each Sunday and then, when they shut up shop and go home at 4pm, we residents then have to put up with the inconvenience of Aldi getting their own way and we have to suffer the consequences.

There are many foreign workers around here who are up and out early and wait to be collected outside Aldi at 4am or 5am to go to work. There are a few families with babies and toddlers who would be asleep at this time but who now won’t get any.

There are several of us – myself included – who are increasingly disabled and unwell due to no fault of our own. None of OUR needs have been considered. The end product is that only the needs of Aldi have been considered whilst the rest of us can go stuff ourselves and put up with it.

Since it’s so obvious to me who had the greater input into this schedule namely Aldi, and obvious to me who had the least input into this situation namely us residents, I am calling upon my MP to help get the times of these roadworks changed. There is absolutely NO reason whatsoever that these roadworks cannot begin at 1pm instead of 4pm, and no reason they cannot end at 9pm instead of midnight plus. The only reason is that 4pm to midnight was selected because the LCC had Aldi on their backs moaning and whinging about loss of trade for a few hours and that the LCC caved in without much of a fight to satisfy Aldi. That’s my theory anyway.

As a resident who knows first-hand what is involved in this kind of roadwork scheme having lived in a flat in New Road, and where the sheer scale of noise, racket and horrendous vibrations of it all impacts at every level of our lives, I don’t want to have this repeated either for me or all the other residents along this part of St Thomas’s Road. Yes, we all know this road is a disaster, full of potholes, full of sinking drains both kerbside and in the middle of the road. We know it has to be done, of that there is no argument. What is arguable is the timing and that the current timing is wholly and utterly wrong.

As a matter of urgency, I have asked my MP to do his best to get the LCC to change the times from 4pm to midnight and beyond and make it from 1pm to 9pm on each of these three successive Sundays. Instead of the onus being dumped on us residents all the time to satisfy the needs of Aldi, let the onus also be on Aldi to close their business at 1pm so that ALL of us benefit from the roadworks.

Well LCC and Aldi? Just what DID go on behind closed doors and what discussions DID take place for these roadworks to start at 4pm and finish and midnight and beyond?

Alan Long

via email