A LOCAL county councillor has defended the organisation of Horncastle’s controversial roadworks after a Birmingham-based family claimed they would be reluctant to visit the town again.
Motorist Alan Wilson said he had been forced to add 30 miles to his journey from his home in Sparkhill to Cadwell Park last Friday night.
Mr Wilson told the News that he had failed to see signs on Boston Road, indicating the diversion route.
Instead, his family - which included two young children - had driven towards Spilsby before stopping at a petrol station to ask for directions. They eventually completed their journey via Louth.
Mr Wilson said: “We’ve always driven straight through Horncastle before without any problems and the first I knew about the roadworks was the barriers across the road.
“I didn’t see any signs and turned right - in the direction of Skegness. I thought there would be a diversion signposted but there wasn’t.
“We seemed to be driving for miles. It was dark and none of us knew the road. I reckon we must have gone 30 miles out of our way which is ridiculous.
“I don’t think the signs were very good and I’ve got to ask - where was the diversion? Local people might know the route but visitors don’t.
“We were planning to spend a lot of time in Horncastle but we went to Louth instead. Quite a few people we met during the weekend said the same.
“The extra journey was frustrating at the end of a very long day and I’d think twice about coming back (to Horncastle). There should have been more warning,”
Mr Wilson’s claims brought a stinging response from Horncastle’s County Councillor Bill Aron, who is a strong advocate of the works.
Coun Aron said businesses in Horncastle had not been affected and said diversions were clearly signposted.
He added: “It (the diversion) is clearly marked in South Street to turn left and then right at West Street.
“Another sign says additional car parking for the town centre while another sign informs people the town centre, shops and car parks are all open for business.”
Coun Aron said a number of businesses in the town had reported an increase in takings last weekend.
He pointed out many restaurants were busy and said a party of American tourists had spent the weekend in the town on an antique buying spree. They had stayed at the Admiral Rodney Hotel and had not reported any problems caused by the roadworks.
Coun Aron said he believed highlighting the case of one family who had experienced problems presented an ”unfair and negative” image of the roadworks,
Meanwhile, it appears the works appear to be progressing well and police have not reported any traffic or parking related issues.
New energy efficient street lighting at the junction of the A158 and A153 has been installed although contractors admit there have been some delays.
Coun Aron added: “There have been some issues with the services that run over the bridge and contractors have lost a couple of days due to this and the weather.
“The other issue has been the time spent on signage. On the plus side, contractors are aiming to re-open a footway over the bridge - if at all possible - by the end of this week.”
Coun Aron said he had been told by the county council that contractors were prepared to work through the night - or bring in extra staff - to compensate for any delays.
He invited anyone with any queries regarding the works to contact him on 01507 526951.
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Weather for Horncastle
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west