Residents launch online petition in bid to speed up viaduct repairs
Published on: 24 Feb 2017
HUNDREDS of residents have joined a campaign for funding to speed up repair works on the ring road at Bromley Heath.
The essential maintenance to the viaduct over the river Frome, which is due to start in June, will reduce traffic on the busy A4174 from four lanes to two and is expected to cause long delays and have severe impact on people living in surrounding areas.
The £5.9 million programme is set to take a year to complete but could be finished in less than half that time if another £3.7 million were found to pay for extended working hours.
Campaigners say the extra money would be a small price to pay when compared with the cost to businesses and individuals of the traffic hold-ups.
Resident Adam Jaufurally has launched an online petition urging the local MP Jack Lopresti and the House of Commons to put pressure on the Department for Transport to find the additional money to accelerate the works.
The petition points out: “Closing the road for such a long period of time will be detrimental to the local economy, increase pollution (due to increased congestion) and cause up to three-mile tailbacks along the A4174, M32 and M4 – all key strategic roads.
“The works will improve the viaduct for road, cycle and pedestrian users and the sooner it is completed the sooner it can be a positive contribution to the local economy as well as improve the lives of local residents.”
South Gloucestershire Council has pledged to get the work done as quickly as it can and to work with residents to tackle any problems that arise. Information can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct
As Voice went to print, 849 people had signed the petition.
Mr Lopresti told Downend Voice: “I have been working for some time on the campaign to secure extra money to enable the works on Bromley Heath viaduct to be reduced from the currently planned 52 weeks.
“I have had a number of meetings with the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, to request more support from the Department for Transport. I have also written formally to the Department to put pressure on them to do everything they can to help. In his reply, Andrew Jones MP, the Minister with responsibility for roads, highlighted the fact that the Government have provided £13.95 million of the £15.5 million total cost of the scheme.
“In addition, I have met Councillors, including Councillor Colin Hunt, to encourage them to explore ways of finding funds to help reduce the length of time the works are taking.
"Of course I agree with the residents who have contacted me to express their concerns about the delays that will inevitably result from the works to the viaduct, and I am also working closely with Councillor Tim Bowles, the Conservative candidate for Metro Mayor, to find a solution to this problem.”