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Call for parishes to have a say in A38 closure talks

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

A38 water main repairs

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CALLS have been made for greater communication between highways bosses and parish councils after traffic chaos engulfed parts of East Staffordshire following the closure of a stretch of the A38.

Ed Sharkey, vice-chairman of Barton under Needwood Parish Council, made the plea to the Highways Agency and Staffordshire County Council after the village was besieged by thousands of vehicles when repairs to a burst water main near the B5016 Barton Turns junction saw the northbound carriageway closed on Wednesday afternoon until today.

Mr Sharkey is campaigning to be included in a meeting between the agency and the authority about diversion routes and procedures when the A38 is affected by closures to make sure the full impact on local residents is recognised.

He said: “I think when something major happens, like the burst water main, everyone understands that there will be some disruption.

“The problem we have is that there is little or no communication with people in the affected areas.

“There have been thousands of cars and HGVs bounding though Barton on routes which are not designed for that amount of traffic. The diversion plans for when there is an accident on the A38 really need revising. If people get more information, and better diversion routes are in place, they will perhaps not mind the disruption as much.

“This is why I have asked if parish councils from across East Staffordshire can go to the planned meeting between the Highways Agency and Staffordshire County Council to discuss the impact of these closures on people’s lives — and for them to hear our suggestions on how they might do things better.”

Mr Sharkey said the situation had become so bad in the village that lorry drivers had been mounting the kerbs outside schools — putting the lives of young children and their parents at risk.

The northbound stretch of the A38 was closed on Wednesday and, although engineers had repaired the bust water main by Thursday, the road had to remain closed until today while road construction works and resurfacing was completed.

A spokesman for South Staffordshire Water said: “We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused, to both customers and motorists, and thank everyone for their patience while we made repairs.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  October 16 2012, 1:58AM

    As a late resident of Barton I agree that a plan needs to be properly implemented for when the A38 is closed between Alrewas and Branston especially for HGV's. The obvious route for vehicles going beyond Burton is from Alrewas to Kings Bromley then follow the A515 right through to the A50 and then on the A50 back to the A38 near Toyota just south of Derby. Vehicles heading south beyond Burton on the A38 should be diverted onto the A50 at 'Toyota island and follow the same route in reverse to Alrewas. Vehicles heading into Burton follow the same route they then should be diverted down Forrest Hill and Shobnal Road. Although far from ideal this should help to cause disruption to the least number of people including the diverted vehicles.

  • Burton Mail  |  October 14 2012, 10:56PM

    Can someone please explain why a contraflow wasn't set up using the southbound side? They've set one of those up in the past for scheduled roadworks, surely that would have worked far better? The central reservation is already designed for it.

  • Burton Mail  |  October 14 2012, 12:14PM

    As a someone who lives in Barton, perhaps our local parish council would address the issue of the main street being BLOCKED by residents parking. So its quite rich for them to want communication with other agencies when they need to put their own house in order first. Its tax payers money who pay for the Barton high street car park not residents. Mr Sharkey needs to get his facts correct. HGV have every right to use the road network and simply because he and his council are incapable of stopping inconsiderate parking means HGVs and cars have no other option.

  • Burton Mail  |  October 14 2012, 7:48AM

    The parochial attitude of the local residents in Barton Under Needwood is making matters worse. This is a short term problem which could be eased if locals didn't insist on parking on the main road through the village causing bottlenecks, further delays and frustration. Surely while this problem exists many residents could find alternative parking. Then the lorries would not have to mount the pavements.

  • Burton Mail  |  October 13 2012, 10:23PM

    During the days that the A38 was closed, we witnessed some outrageous driving through Barton - I am amazed that nobody got hurt!!!