Lincolnshire County Council promise action after concerns from Leadenham and Fulbeck businesses over A607 Fulbeck Bridge road closures
Lincolnshire County Council has promised to change signage along a major diversion around the A607 after businesses said it was overkill.
Business owners in Leadenham and Fulbeck say they are still open, despite a diversion that starts at Bracebridge Heath taking a wide circle around the two villages.
They accused the council of putting up too many red 'road closed ahead' signs and not enough yellow 'businesses open as usual' notices.
The authority is carrying out works on the A607 Fulbeck Bridge to resurface, waterproof and replace joints along it. Work is due to finish on September 2.
The diversion route starts at the A15 in Bracebridge Heath, goes out to Holdingham Roundabout to the A153 Grantham Road and back to the A607, though cars can still follow the A607 up to Leadenham Post Office.
On Tuesday, Lincolnshire County Council said some signs had already been changed from saying ‘road closed ahead’ to ‘road closed at Fulbeck Bridge A17′.
Officers were also looking into additional signage.
A spokesman said: “Lincolnshire County Council will do all it reasonably can to help.”
Measures include more ‘business as usual’ signs and the removal of some road closed signs. So far, business as usual signs go as far back as Navenby.
However, they said they did not want road users trying to rat run through the area and so more 'unsuitable for HGV' and 'access only' signs would also be used.
Karen Cassar, the council's assistant director of highways, said: “We have sought to minimise the disruption to the A607 traffic as best we can.
“The HGV proportion of the passing traffic is significant enough for us to divert traffic via the A15 rather than having them attempt to turn around dangerously in unsuitable areas.
“I would like to thank everyone affected by these works for their continuing patience whilst this project continues until early September.”
She said the bridge would not be able to open to pedestrians and cyclists due to the danger of the work on site.
However, she added: “Should there be an essential need for pedestrians to cross the site then if the site operatives are able to escort them across safely, they will do so.
“The majority of the time this will not be the case on the grounds of both public and site operator safety.”
She said the works being carried out were extremely hazardous with constantly moving site vehicles, machinery and plant and excavations across the full width of the bridge.
The deck of the bridge has been fully excavated and the footpath is also being taken up due to poor concrete.
Business owners welcomed the changes, but remained cautious.
Lindsey Hampshire, owner of the Country Store, said: “It will help, but because there’s so many diversions all over the A17, A15 and A607 people are still seemingly confused about where they can and can’t go.”
She said drivers needed to know businesses, including Leadenham Petrol Station, were still available for use and needed to be encouraged into the town and hoped signage would direct them to that.
She added that the timing still could not have been worse.
“To lose business during the school holidays was expected, but to lose commuter and holiday traffic, there’s uncertainty all around.”