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Residents' crash fears as motorists defy Rye Street closure

A van mounts the pavement to get round the road works
A van mounts the pavement to get round the road works

Rye Street residents fear a serious accident will be caused by drivers ignoring the closure of the Bishop's Stortford road.

Rye Street is closed from its junction with the Grange Paddocks mini roundabout
Rye Street is closed from its junction with the Grange Paddocks mini roundabout

Restrictions are in place for six weeks – from Monday July 23 until the start of September – for an enlarged water main to be installed for Countryside Properties’ new estate, St Michael’s Hurst.

The road was closed last summer to connect utilities, but the developer has added a care home and 150 more houses to its development, taking the total to 479.

The current closure starts at the mini roundabout junction for Grange Paddocks, but there is two-way access for residents all the way to the junction with Cannons Mill Lane. From this point, both lanes are closed while workmen for Triconnex complete the mains reinforcement work on behalf of Affinity Water.

Gini and Gary Aldam, whose Rye Street home is next to the roadworks, have been left dumbfounded by the behaviour of some motorists, who have driven around the barriers and onto the pavement to beat the closure.

A motorcyclist ignores the road closure
A motorcyclist ignores the road closure

Gini said: “There seems to have been some confusion over the signs at the Grange Paddocks roundabout before the weekend and where they’re supposed to take you. But once you’re actually here, where it’s clear barriers are across both lanes, it’s not a mistake if you choose to drive up on the pavement and around the barriers.”

Gary added: “The reason it’s closed both ways is for the safety of the workmen and for the road users. Cyclists, motorcyclists, cars and vans have all been ignoring the closure.

“People drive at about 60mph along this section, even though the speed limit is still 30mph, so it wouldn’t take much of a mistake for a car travelling that fast to have a serious collision with the barriers, workmen or an oncoming vehicle that’s also ignoring the closure.”

Another resident said: “The signs have been up for weeks, yet people are still driving all the way down to where the road is closed. Most of them then turn around, but some are deciding to squeeze past the barriers and drive all the way down the pavement.”

As of Tuesday morning, Triconnex workmen had added more barriers to each end of the current work site, to stop vehicles squeezing past the closure. Heavy plant was also on site, essentially blocking the road completely.


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