What a gas.

To give them credit – Wales and West Utilities were quick to respond to my request for comment following yesterdays scenes on the roads coming off the A46 at Lower Swainswick. Looks like we have weeks of this to come.

They are renewing a gas main at one end of Larkhall village and yesterday closed Deadmill Lane. It resulted in an almighty jam of commuter traffic through Ferndale Road and right down the Gloucester Road to the London Road junction.

The trenches at the bottom of Ferndale Road.

All of this without any consultation with residents  about what they were doing and why.

Here’s their response to Bath Newseum in full:

Statement from Wales & West Utilities

13 November 2018

Re Gas pipe investment work, Valley View Road, Bath

Wales & West Utilities Programme Controller for Bath, Mick Gallavin said:

“We are working in the Valley View Road area of Bath to upgrade more than 100m of old metal gas pipes to new plastic ones. This work started on 8 October and is essential to keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future.

“In agreement with Bath and North East Somerset Council and in order to keep the local community, road users and our colleagues safe while we work, a temporary road closure is in place on Dead Mill Lane at its junction with Ferndale Road and Valley View Road. A diversion route is in place while the road is closed.

Today’s jam in Ferndale Road.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect to complete our work and reopen the road by the end of November.

“We know that working on roads like these is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future.

“Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999 or enquiries@wwwutilities.co.uk. Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.”

… and the jam on the Gloucester Road. People who have lived here for a long time will remember this was what it was like before the A46 by-pass was built – and this is only heavy traffic going one way!

Sorry folks – it appears we are doomed to have to face jams and choking fumes for several more weeks. It brings Bath’s almighty traffic problems directly to our doorsteps.

It also doesn’t explain why residents weren’t given better warning of what was to come. Our local councillor received a couple of diagrams  – from B&NES traffic department -showing where the closures were to be – but that was just the day before it came into force.

Plus l wonder if all the diversion signs are doing their job. People are still turning down Ferndale Road and finding their way blocked at the bottom – only to have to turn around and come back up where it’s difficult to get out into the jam.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 05.00.57
The council maps showing the areas affected.