Council - We’resorry for road ‘closed’ chaos

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Lincolnshire County Council has apologised to motorists who claimed they faced an unnecessary 18-mile diversion, because contractors had failed to remove ‘road closed’ signs.

Major repairs to the A153 in the Coningsby area started on October 20 and were scheduled to finish last Wednesday.

The work has featured overnight road closures between 6pm and 3am but several people contacted the News to say ‘road closed’ signs were still in place during daylight hours.

As a result, many people believed the road was closed and instead of using the A153 to travel between Horncastle and Sleaford, they followed the recommended diversion via New York, Hubbert’s Bridge and the A17.

Figures from the AA show that the direct route is 23 miles and the diversion 32 miles...meaning an extra 18 miles on a round trip.

One businessman, who did not want to be named, said: “It is ridiculous. I had to attend a meeting in Sleaford at 10.30am and left in good time.

“Travelling to Coningsby, I could see all the road closed signs and followed the diversion, turning off the A153 at the petrol station and going on what I can only describe as the long way round.

“A number of other drivers seemed to be doing the same. There was a lot of confusion.

“The diversion is not the quickest and in the end, I arrived at my meeting nearly 30 minutes late.

“One other person (at the meeting) was in the same situation.

“On the way back, we followed the diversion (the A17) because we thought the A153 was closed.”

The man said it was only when he mentioned the closure to someone that they pointed out the road was actually open.

The man added: “There were loads of road closed signs and it appears they (the contractors) could not be bothered to take them down and then put them back up at night. Typical.”

Sarah Taylor contacted the News by email to complain. She said she made the journey between Horncastle and Sleaford three times before realising the road was actually open.

She added: “I mentioned it to my husband, telling him (the diversion) took another half hour but he was adamant the road was open.

“I checked and it was open, but how come all the road closed signs were up?

“Heads should roll over this.”