Lengthy road closures in Leamington have been highlighted by an opposition councillor during a debate on Warwickshire County Council’s new Council Plan.
The document was approved at this week’s [TUE] full council meeting but prompted demands for actions rather than words.
Cllr Bill Gifford (Lib Dem, Leamington Milverton) said: “Leamington at the moment is closed for business. It can take 45 minutes to go from north to south with the road closures and I think we can learn something from this.
“We talk about learning from our partners and communicating and listening to residents. We can learn because when the county council recently resurfaced Portland Place West, they threw in a lot of people, a lot of equipment and the job was done in one day. When the county council licensed Network Rail to repaint a bridge and do a bit of maintenance, it is closed for week upon week.
“What really irritates people is sitting in a queue, waiting for the lights to change and passing just bollards with no-one working.”
“If we are going to learn from partners we should try and encourage them to learn from our good practice. We shouldn’t just accept the economic damage done by closing our roads at the whim of a utility or railway company for the maximum length of time - we should be aiming for the minimum length of time for closure. That should be part of our Council Plan.
“It is important that we hold our partners to account. If we are going to have a really successful Council Plan then it is one that should not just be words but actions as well.”
In response, Cllr Wallace Redford (Con, Cubbington and Leek Wootton), the council’s portfolio holder for transport and planning, explained that discussions with various companies were ongoing.
He said: “What I can say to members is that we are actively discussing, in particular with the utility companies, to improve that performance because the way they respond is not good enough.”
And Cllr John Cooke (Con, Lapworth and West Kenilworth) added: “One of the things that is mentioned [in the Council Plan] is working with our partners. In Leamington, a transformation board has recently been set-up to look at all aspects of the development of Leamington Spa and one of the key aspects will be traffic management and traffic flows.
“The transformation board includes officers and members from all levels of local government. We do have the tools and we are working with our partners.”