Roadworks - A good job was done by contractors

I’m writing in regard to the article “Power to the people – but delays for cars!” in this week’s Horncastle News.

I was concerned that the “You have your say about the delays in Horncastle as work continues” section included only negative comments.

I do appreciate that you probably received predominantly negative comments as those with something positive to say rarely write in, but I do think there needs to be some balance.

In an effort to give some balance, I’ve written to Western Power Distribution and the contractors to give my view on their work and share it with your readers here:

I’m writing about the recent cabling work Morrison Utility Services have been carrying out on your behalf in Horncastle. In particular, the work on Stanhope Road and Louth Road.

I live close to the junction of Spilsby Road with Stanhope Road and walk my dog that way several times a day.

Obviously that means I’ve passed your works many times and I’ve been watching the progress with great interest.

I wanted to say that I have been continually impressed at the rate of progress, the efficiency, courtesy and consideration of your engineers.

The directional drilling under Stanhope Beck was particularly impressive.

Despite having what is clearly a difficult task to undertake, they have taken the trouble to answer questions I have had and give me an insight into what they are doing and why.

From the very first day of the road closure on Stanhope Road, they were helpful and positive, a credit to their employer.

It was a delight to see the quite amazing way they did the work with so little disruption given the nature of what was being done and how clean they left the area afterwards.

Of course there has been traffic congestion, I’ve experienced it, but whilst it is undoubtedly frustrating, there was no doubt in my mind that it was well managed to minimise the disruption.

You may have seen some critical letters in the Horncastle News and quite frankly I’m ashamed people in this town could write such nonsense.

The contributor who wrote “surely it could be better managed” clearly had no idea how difficult it must be to undertake such work on a major road. He certainly had no better alternative to offer.

The lady who wrote about the “amount of traffic trying to squeeze through narrow roads” should have recognised that you had signposted diversions onto the major roads through the town. None of the diversions were onto narrow roads.

Her concern that it be completed “by the time the schools get back” was obviously also in your mind and that is why it was scheduled in school holidays.

The clear and fast progress you were making throughout the task made it abundantly clear to me that the work had been well planned, timed and executed to ensure that it would be complete before the schools go back.

The gentleman who “cracked open the champagne” when the traffic lights were removed form Louth Road might have been better to give it to your engineers by way of thanks for a job well done.

I can appreciate his frustration when the lights returned, but he obviously did not appreciate that the option would have been leaving them in place for two days unnecessarily.

I for one appreciate the consideration you showed by removing them when possible.

As to his comment about “the workers sleeping in their vans”, I feel the use of a plural is a ploy to make it sound like this was a frequent occurrence.

I can tell you with certainty that what I observed many times was a high quality motivated team undertaking a professionally executed and necessary improvement to the infrastructure we all depend on.

If he did see one of your engineers having a nap in a van I can see no issue with that. They are fully entitled (and required) to take breaks and if they did choose to have a nap in the van during their break then that is entirely up to them.

I hope that this email will go some small way to thanking the engineers for a job well done and hope you are able to let them know.

I for one am fully appreciative of the importance of this work to ensure the stability of our electricity supply and to help retain companies like PolyPipe in Horncastle which contribute employment and wealth to the local economy. I feel sure that if you did not undertake this work, the same people who wrote to the Horncastle News to complain about the works would be amongst the first to phone you on Christmas Day when their power failed and expect you to get a team of engineers out to resolve the problem regardless of the weather.

I want to add that I am also appreciative that the engineers travelled to Horncastle to undertake the work during the school holidays when they may have had to be separated from their own families.

It is so easy to say “well that is their job” but it still deserves thanks.

Dave McIntyre

Spilsby Road, Horncastle

Editor’s note: We received several phone calls and emails about the delays caused by the works - particularly when the two sets of traffic lights returned in Louth Road. This is the first letter we have received in support.