Roadworks (A1)

Transport written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport

(1) for what reasons advance warning was not given of the closure of the exit from the A1 at Newark to the A17 and A46;

(2) for what reasons 24-hour working is not taking place on the southbound carriageway of the A1 near Newark;

(3) for what reasons and for how long the junction between the A1, A17 and A46 at Newark will be closed; and for what reasons the exit from the A1 at this point is closed;

(4) for how long he expects the southbound carriageway of the A1 to be closed at Newark.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State, Department for Transport

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Archie Robertson to write to the right hon. Member.

Letter from Archie Robertson to Mr. Greg Knight, dated 11 February 2004

I have been asked by the Transport Minister, Kim Howells, to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about road closures as a result of work being carried out on the A1 Trunk Road at Newark.

The major resurfacing scheme on both carriageways of the A1 at Newark is taking place on a heavily trafficked section of road, which includes a busy interchange (with A46/A17) and is situated close to built-up areas. As such, the work is inevitably subject to certain constraints.

There are two sets of warning signs informing drivers of the closure of the slip roads at Newark, on both the north and southbound carriageways of the A1, together with signs to follow the appropriate diversion routes. Advance signs are also situated on all approach roads to the slip roads, again with diversion signs in place giving instructions on how to access the A1. Additional signs, over and above those required to meet statutory requirements, were erected on the diversion routes on 16 January to give greater clarity for users of the diversions.

In order to maintain traffic flow, both north and southbound, contraflow working is being used. For safety reasons, and to allow a smooth flow of traffic through the contraflow lengths, the slip roads to the A46/A17 need to be closed. Some resurfacing is also being carried out on the slip roads themselves. Although the southbound carriageway was reopened on 1 February, it is now subject to contraflow working whilst the northbound carriageway is dealt with.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to undertake this work on a 24-hour basis due to the close proximity of residential property. For environmental reasons Newark and Sherwood District Council have placed restrictions on working after 10pm so that local people do not suffer undue noise nuisance overnight.

I am pleased to say that good progress is being made with the resurfacing and all work is on target to be completed by the 16 March. The Agency regrets any disruption that these essential maintenance works may have caused. Wherever possible, we do try to keep this to a minimum and give advance publicity locally. I note, from these and previous questions you have asked, that you frequently use the north—south route, either via the A1 or M1.

If you would like any further information the Agency's Route Manager, Graham Littlechild, will be more than happy to assist you. Please let him know if you would like to be included on a circulation list for advance publicity when works of this kind are proposed on these routes in the future. He can be contacted at our offices at Broadway, Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1BL, or by telephone on 0121 678 8034.

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