By Nigel Slater 05/07 Updated: 05/07 13:00
A VILLAGER has said he fears it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured after traffic from a busy main road was diverted past his home.
Darren Farmer, who lives on Winchcombe Road in Sedgeberrow, said the narrow road had become gridlocked with HGV lorries getting stuck on both sides forcing drivers to use the pavement so they can pass one another.
Some motorcyclists have even used the pavement so they can pass long tailbacks.
The controversial diversion is in place because the Highways Agency are currently undergoing maintenance works on the A46 between Ashton-under-Hill and Beckford between 8pm and 7am and it is not expected to be finished until next week.
Mr Farmer has complained to the Highways Agency with his and other residents' concerns and told the Observer the diversion was unacceptable.
"We have had massive congestion with lorries stuck on the road and it is chaos here," he said. "The road is just not wide enough to safely accommodate two HGV vehicles side by side and they can't pass one another.
"We had an incident last Wednesday (June 27) with lorries getting stuck and traffic backing up on both sides. And to avoid it motorbikes were riding along the one pavement we have in Sedgeberrow with kids walking out which is very dangerous.
"The other thing is noise. My son who is three years old could not sleep and had to come into our room. Other residents have had the same experience. We also have had no consultation about this being the diverted route at all."
Worcestershire County Councillor Liz Eyre, who has been to the village to see the problems, said The Highways Agency ignored advice from the County Council about the problems of the diversion.
"The Highways Agency has known of their need to repair the section of the A46 for three months or more," she said. "But despite advice from the County Council on the challenges of their suggested diversionary route through Sedgeberrow, the real need to work with myself as the local county member and the parish itself, the Highways Agency ploughed on regardless.
"This must never happen again."
But Mark Powell from the Highways Agency said the diversion was consulted with both by Worcestershire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council.
"The works are taking place in a rural area with very limited options for diversion routes," he said.
"We have installed temporary ‘No Waiting’ signs on the diversion route in Sedgeberrow, to prevent parked vehicles from causing congestion.
"We are also using roadside signs and electronic message boards on the surrounding motorway and trunk road network to encourage HGVs to use the A44 and M5 as an alternative diversion route."
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