P&TGRS has received a reply from the Head of Highways at Bucks County Council. Please see the full letter
Dear Mr Green
Recent road closures in Tylers Green and Penn
Thank you for your letter dated 19th August addressed to Cllr Mark Shaw in relation to the recent road closures in your area, to which he has asked me to respond on behalf of Transport for Buckinghamshire.
Firstly, please do accept my apologies for the disruption these works cause. I have looked into the closures on Hammersley Lane for new connection works. Whilst every attempt was made to ensure that the disruption was kept to a minimum, with collaborative working taking place between SSE, Thames Water and Cadent Gas, because of the location, physical restrictions and distance between some of the work sites, the road needed to be closed at different times.
Please be assured that the officers who co-ordinate the highway do so as proactively as possible and communicate with all parties requesting closures in order to try to limit congestion issues. However, we receive over 40,000 requests to work on our highway each year so, due to the sheer volume of works, it is not always obvious to the travelling public that these efforts are being made, as disruption and delays are sometimes inevitable.
In relation to our own planned resurfacing works and utility works, a weekly co-ordination meeting is held with a works promoters to present their upcoming works and to look for opportunities to work together although, due to the issues you highlighted such as weather, the surfacing programme in particular can be prone to last minute changes. Additionally, each application to work is reviewed, and challenged where appropriate, which includes working methods and timings.
Transport Economy Environment
Director Growth, Strategy and Highways Rob Smith
Buckinghamshire County Council
County Hall, Walton Street
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 1UA
As the Local Highway Authority, we do have conditions at our disposal to enforce work times, etc but these can only be applied where the risk assessment and working methods allow. For example, some works will require a full road crossing as they cannot be completed in two halves with the required safety zones for the workforce in place and sufficient width from traffic, so traffic signals are not appropriate.
I appreciate this reply does not alleviate the disruption caused but I hope it does reassure you that we take every possible step to ensure road users are delayed as little as necessary, with the related inconvenience kept to a minimum.
Head of Highways
We plan to reply as we are aware that there are several more new houses in the early stages of development on Hammersley Lane, with the potential for more closures in the coming months. We will post all copies for your information. If you would like to comment please visit our Facebook page.