Steve Cowley, Mayor of Yarmouth, has provided this report of last night’s meeting where Island Roads spoke to the residents and businesses of Yarmouth about their concerned that the main road in/out of Yarmouth – Bouldnor Road – will be closed for seven weeks – Ed.
At Yarmouth Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening over 60 local residents turned out to hear why Island Roads had decided to close Bouldnor Road for seven weeks instead of the planned two weeks.
It would appear that Island Roads are pushing on with the work without due regard to the cost and risk to residents and businesses.
Concerns about safety and wellbeing
Many of those present voiced their concerns and distress about their safety and wellbeing. It was obvious that no proper provision has been made for emergency services to access or leave Yarmouth.
Most worrying was the lack of consultation with the NHS for emergency ambulances into the Town or for the local GP, Dr Gordon Walker to swiftly attend emergency calls in Thorley or Bouldnor.
Many issues not considered
The RNLI had not been consulted about access for Lifeboat crews’ call-outs.
Yarmouth Fire Service will be unable to get to the east of Yarmouth -Bouldnor, Thorley, Wellow, Shalfleet, except by travelling via Freshwater.
There will be no bus service to Cranmore or Bouldnor, stranding residents without cars.
The issue of re-routing when Yarmouth Bridge is closed had not been considered. Bridge closure would leave Yarmouth as an Island.
Heavy drop in business turnover
Businesses in Yarmouth and Thorley were reporting a heavy drop in turnover because of the lengthy delays and difficulty in access caused by the works. Total closure for 7 weeks would force some to have to lay off staff or close.
David Gibby from Island Roads explained the work was running slightly behind schedule due to the windy weather and agreed they had failed to ensure an adequate supply of steel piling from Germany.
They had also made a mistake in laying drains at the correct level, so one length of kerbing had had to be taken up and re-laid.
He stated that since the work had started British Gas had decided that they needed to replace the gas main and that SSE had failed to complete planned rerouting of electrical cabling.
Island Roads said that it was very difficult to do these major works in such a narrow width. It seems that the plan drawn up by Island Roads had not taken this fully into account before the work started.
Concerns mostly unanswered
Residents and business owners’ questions and concerns mostly went unanswered. David Gibby insisted that this situation is ‘simply inconvenient’.
He expressed no sympathy for people at the meeting and few assurances that future communications will be improved.
Poor information and lack of consultation on the impact of the closure were criticised by many who left the meeting feeling let down by Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council’s management of the contract.
Steve Cowley, Mayor of Yarmouth
A map showing the length of road that will be resurfaced under the scheme.
(Click to enlarge)