Residents of Congresbury are up in arms about a decision to close a road for up to five months to accommodate work on a controversial housing scheme.
More than 200 householders will be affected by the temporary closure of Wrington Lane, due to be imposed next week by North Somerset Council.
Members of Congresbury Residents Action Group (CRAG) reported that homeowners in the lane and surrounding roads are “incandescent” with rage over the notice issued under provisions of section 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1984.
Work is scheduled in three phases. The first phase, due to start on 3rd October includes the section down to Cobthorn Way. Phase Two covers the section from Cobthorn Way to Wrington Mead with Phase Three from Wrington Mead to the junction with the A370.
Residents have individually expressed their anger to MP John Penrose, district councillor Phil Neve, North Somerset Council and contractor Vistry Homes.
CRAG chair Mary Short said the action by North Somerset Council was totally unreasonable. “There are people with limited mobility, elderly folk and parents with young children who will become virtual prisoners in their homes if they cannot use their cars. Many residents in the area rely on their cars to get to work, to go for appointments and shopping etc. and have no idea what access they will have.”
The planned road closures would operate from 8am to 5pm weekdays with “occasional Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.”
Apart from Wrington Lane itself, the closure would directly affect access for residents of Cobthorn Way, Weetwood Road, Wrington Mead, Ward’s Hill, Verlands and Furnace Way.
The Council responded to one resident: “I am sorry that you are concerned about the works that are proposed to take place in Wrington Lane. Please be reassured that access is maintained for residents and emergency vehicles. The works are programmed in a phased manner so access can be maintained.”
The background to this case, which has blighted residents for more that six years, involves a dispute over land ownership. The housing project was only granted on condition that the developer provided a footway in the Lane before building work began.
The Council claim that that the footway can be built on public highway land. Residents dispute this, and have evidence that the footway will need land which is part of their property and has never been adopted as public highway land.