Torbay Council has signed the section 278 and agreed for the road closure to start on January 3rd. We have been concerned since we came across the plans in mid-October that the proposed diversions won’t be able to cope with the volume of traffic (both cars and HGVs). As we approach the closure date we still fear the impact could be significant but are hoping that our fears will be unfounded.
There are some reasons for optimism:
- The road works have been shortened to only 3 months. Whether this was due to the pressure we, and others, put on the developers is unclear. In addition the developers have asked the council for permission to extend their working hours into evenings and Saturdays; we hope that this will shorten the works further.
- We have finally been allowed to see some analysis of the capacity of the planned diversions. We believe that this analysis was completed in November after we repeatedly challenged the developers on this fundamental point. We are not highways engineers but the model and input data both look sensible – and Torbay Council’s independent highways consultants also didn’t find any errors with it. This model suggests delays of 10-15 minutes at peak times which, while a nuisance for many weeks, isn’t the gridlock that we fear.
- Persimmon Homes have arranged for additional bus services and some free bus tickets for students and key workers. This will reduce the number of vehicles needing to travel through the diversions.
We are also encouraged to hear that the developers have opened communication with our vital fishing industry, to better understand their needs for HGV transport.
Until the first few days of the closure we won’t know the true impact of this closure. We will continue to represent the people and businesses of Brixham to both the Council and the developers throughout the winter. Further updates will be posted here on our website.