Sewer flood prevention work will shut busy Worcester road

SHUT: The junction of Ombersley Road, left, and Droitwich Road in Worcester. The southbound lane of Ombersley Road will be closed and a diversion set up throughout the sewer repair works starting in February. (0413230201)

BUSY: The junction of Droitwich Road and St Stephen's Street in Worcester. (0413230206)

First published in News Worcester News: Sarah Hickinbotham by

WEEKS of misery are being predicted for commuters and businesses with the partial closure of a busy Worcester main road.

Ombersley Road will be shut to traffic coming into the city between Checketts Lane and its junction with Droitwich Road for five weeks beginning Sunday, February 17.

The move will allow contractors working for Severn Trent Water to carry out a £300,000 project to install new sewer pipes and a small pumping station in Sunnyside Road and Barbourne Road.

The work is needed in a bid to combat the flooding that occurs during heavy rainfall.

David Johnson, the joint proprietor of Johnsons news-agents in Ombersley Road, said trade was “decimated” last time the road was closed by utility works.

He said: “There’s going to be nobody coming down here.

“I remember about 20 years ago when they did the gas main and closed the road for three months and it decimated us.

“When they reopened the road it took weeks for customers to come back.

“The closure does seem extreme. They think it will cause less congestion but I can see there being tailbacks along Checketts Lane.”

A resident of Ombersley Road, who did not wish to be named, said while the work was necessary, he believed the closure would cause “weeks of misery” for commuters.

He said: “There will be many days when the work that is being carried out is not going to directly impact the major through route.

“But instead of considering the convenience of thousands of commuters and hundreds of Worcester residents, and adjusting road closures to minimise the impact, the convenience of the contractors will be paramount, as usual.”

The scheme, which is due to run from February 10 to mid-April, will see a diversion put in place along Checketts Lane and onto Droitwich Road.

Sunnyside Road will be closed during the installation, while temporary traffic lights will be placed in Barbourne Road when work is carried out there.

Frank Thompson, area manager at Severn Trent Water, said the company realised the need to minimise disruption and would work during weekends.

Jon Fraser, the council's highways manager, said the authority worked closely with Severn Trent to arrange the works at the best time to minimise disruption.

He said: “The first part of the work is scheduled during the school half term when roads are generally quieter.

“The section of Ombersley Road will only be closed one way, meaning that vehicles heading out of the city will be unaffected. Traffic heading into the city will only face a short diversion and traffic signals at the Tollhouse lights will also be switched off so vehicles will be able to flow freely to further help minimise disruption.”

A public exhibition on the plans will take place on Wednesday at Worcester City Football Club between 3pm and 7pm, where residents will be able to find out more about the road closures and planned diversion routes.

Comments (18)

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11:40am Sat 26 Jan 13

saucerer says...

5 weeks on one of the main roads in to the city centre! Why the hell didn't the highways department allow these works to be carried out during the school summer holidays in order to minimise disruption? Incompetence continues to be prevalent amongst our highway experts, and it must stop now. Enough is enough.
5 weeks on one of the main roads in to the city centre! Why the hell didn't the highways department allow these works to be carried out during the school summer holidays in order to minimise disruption? Incompetence continues to be prevalent amongst our highway experts, and it must stop now. Enough is enough. saucerer
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Sat 26 Jan 13

mr.meldrew says...

couldnt agree more..
couldnt agree more.. mr.meldrew
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Jabbadad says...

While agreeing with the disruption aspect, it is my understanding that the Utilities only have to inform the Highways departments when they intend to carry out the work and a slot is provided for them, which normally gives a lea-way either side should more problems arise.
There was a time (recently) when the Utilities could come along and dig up the roads (as they did several times in High Street Worcester) complete the work and just fill the hole back in, not being required to put the finish back as found before work started. That is why we had a patchwork Quilt along High Street with different colors of Tarmac where the cobbled bricks had been removed by the contractors.
When I questioned this with Highways they said they had no jurisdiction over the Utilities.
While agreeing with the disruption aspect, it is my understanding that the Utilities only have to inform the Highways departments when they intend to carry out the work and a slot is provided for them, which normally gives a lea-way either side should more problems arise. There was a time (recently) when the Utilities could come along and dig up the roads (as they did several times in High Street Worcester) complete the work and just fill the hole back in, not being required to put the finish back as found before work started. That is why we had a patchwork Quilt along High Street with different colors of Tarmac where the cobbled bricks had been removed by the contractors. When I questioned this with Highways they said they had no jurisdiction over the Utilities. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Sat 26 Jan 13

CJH says...

saucerer wrote:
5 weeks on one of the main roads in to the city centre! Why the hell didn't the highways department allow these works to be carried out during the school summer holidays in order to minimise disruption? Incompetence continues to be prevalent amongst our highway experts, and it must stop now. Enough is enough.
I shouldn't worry saucerer, it'll probably drag on through the Easter and summer school holidays...
[quote][p][bold]saucerer[/bold] wrote: 5 weeks on one of the main roads in to the city centre! Why the hell didn't the highways department allow these works to be carried out during the school summer holidays in order to minimise disruption? Incompetence continues to be prevalent amongst our highway experts, and it must stop now. Enough is enough.[/p][/quote]I shouldn't worry saucerer, it'll probably drag on through the Easter and summer school holidays... CJH
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Redhillman says...

Jabbadad wrote:
While agreeing with the disruption aspect, it is my understanding that the Utilities only have to inform the Highways departments when they intend to carry out the work and a slot is provided for them, which normally gives a lea-way either side should more problems arise.
There was a time (recently) when the Utilities could come along and dig up the roads (as they did several times in High Street Worcester) complete the work and just fill the hole back in, not being required to put the finish back as found before work started. That is why we had a patchwork Quilt along High Street with different colors of Tarmac where the cobbled bricks had been removed by the contractors.
When I questioned this with Highways they said they had no jurisdiction over the Utilities.
I've looked in to this and by law utility companies cannot be prevented from digging up the road by the highways department, but the highways department pull the strings in terms of when they can be allowed to carry out the works, unless it's emergency works. So it seems to me that the idiots in the highways department have allowed a 5 week job on a busy main road to take place outside the summer holidays. This just smacks of utter incompetence from highway officers, yet again.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: While agreeing with the disruption aspect, it is my understanding that the Utilities only have to inform the Highways departments when they intend to carry out the work and a slot is provided for them, which normally gives a lea-way either side should more problems arise. There was a time (recently) when the Utilities could come along and dig up the roads (as they did several times in High Street Worcester) complete the work and just fill the hole back in, not being required to put the finish back as found before work started. That is why we had a patchwork Quilt along High Street with different colors of Tarmac where the cobbled bricks had been removed by the contractors. When I questioned this with Highways they said they had no jurisdiction over the Utilities.[/p][/quote]I've looked in to this and by law utility companies cannot be prevented from digging up the road by the highways department, but the highways department pull the strings in terms of when they can be allowed to carry out the works, unless it's emergency works. So it seems to me that the idiots in the highways department have allowed a 5 week job on a busy main road to take place outside the summer holidays. This just smacks of utter incompetence from highway officers, yet again. Redhillman
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Sat 26 Jan 13

farmeralan1963 says...

Yet another glaring example of **** poor planning from the highways department. If this is the sign of things to come with the Lowesmoor project and the Abbey Bridge replacement in Evesham, god help us all.

This department really do not learn do they? I am amazed that a department full of totally useless people can be allowed to remain in their positions and get away for it for so long. If this were the private sector, they'd have been long gone. Their ineptitude in everything they touch is breathtaking. King Midas they certainly are not.
Yet another glaring example of **** poor planning from the highways department. If this is the sign of things to come with the Lowesmoor project and the Abbey Bridge replacement in Evesham, god help us all. This department really do not learn do they? I am amazed that a department full of totally useless people can be allowed to remain in their positions and get away for it for so long. If this were the private sector, they'd have been long gone. Their ineptitude in everything they touch is breathtaking. King Midas they certainly are not. farmeralan1963
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Sat 26 Jan 13

The Doosra says...

The usual suspects have rocked up (or is it one with a multiple id?) to slag off the highways department without a shred of wit or wisdom between them.

This work has to be done to alleviate the possibility of surface flooding. Are you too dim to realise that?
The usual suspects have rocked up (or is it one with a multiple id?) to slag off the highways department without a shred of wit or wisdom between them. This work has to be done to alleviate the possibility of surface flooding. Are you too dim to realise that? The Doosra
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Maggie Would says...

The Doosra wrote:
The usual suspects have rocked up (or is it one with a multiple id?) to slag off the highways department without a shred of wit or wisdom between them.

This work has to be done to alleviate the possibility of surface flooding. Are you too dim to realise that?
I agree. I'd be the last to defend incompetent idiots if I thought it was warranted, but the guys & gals in the highways dept are not untrained monkeys.
It is impossible to carry out *all* highway works during the school holidays, there simply isn't the resource in the construction and engineering sector to do this.
All schools and colleges want their work carried out during the holidays too. Do people really think that there are spare operatives sitting in a site hut somewhere ready to be mobilised during certain windows in the year?
[quote][p][bold]The Doosra[/bold] wrote: The usual suspects have rocked up (or is it one with a multiple id?) to slag off the highways department without a shred of wit or wisdom between them. This work has to be done to alleviate the possibility of surface flooding. Are you too dim to realise that?[/p][/quote]I agree. I'd be the last to defend incompetent idiots if I thought it was warranted, but the guys & gals in the highways dept are not untrained monkeys. It is impossible to carry out *all* highway works during the school holidays, there simply isn't the resource in the construction and engineering sector to do this. All schools and colleges want their work carried out during the holidays too. Do people really think that there are spare operatives sitting in a site hut somewhere ready to be mobilised during certain windows in the year? Maggie Would
  • Score: 0

6:42am Sun 27 Jan 13

b1ackb1rd says...

No mention of measures to ease traffic flow ... surely the guardians of the Highways Dept cannot defend this glaring omission ?
No mention of measures to ease traffic flow ... surely the guardians of the Highways Dept cannot defend this glaring omission ? b1ackb1rd
  • Score: 0

7:29am Sun 27 Jan 13

New Kid on the Block says...

I shall certainly be attending the exhibition on wednesday.
I live in this area and I want to know why such drastic traffic control measures are needed.
The Sunnyside Road / Barbourne Road junction is 75 yards from the junction that is being closed.
I wonder whether they really need to take up that much space for 5 weeks.
I shall certainly be attending the exhibition on wednesday. I live in this area and I want to know why such drastic traffic control measures are needed. The Sunnyside Road / Barbourne Road junction is 75 yards from the junction that is being closed. I wonder whether they really need to take up that much space for 5 weeks. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

9:51am Sun 27 Jan 13

Weezy1 says...

I don't understand why they aren't completing the work in sections.. So they aren't closing a busy road and diverting the traffic down my road. I've already emailed the council to see if they are going to change the timing on the Checketts Lane traffic lights so it allows more diverted traffic onto the Droitwich Road..
This is going to cause major tail backs!! And my car had better not get damaged from people trying to squeeze through tight gaps/traffic!
I don't understand why they aren't completing the work in sections.. So they aren't closing a busy road and diverting the traffic down my road. I've already emailed the council to see if they are going to change the timing on the Checketts Lane traffic lights so it allows more diverted traffic onto the Droitwich Road.. This is going to cause major tail backs!! And my car had better not get damaged from people trying to squeeze through tight gaps/traffic! Weezy1
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Sun 27 Jan 13

samexbt says...

In order to ease traffic flow during this period of roadworks, I think that the traffic lights at the Droitwich/Ombersley road junction should be switched off as they are only necessary to allow a safe merge of traffic in a southerly direction.
In order to ease traffic flow during this period of roadworks, I think that the traffic lights at the Droitwich/Ombersley road junction should be switched off as they are only necessary to allow a safe merge of traffic in a southerly direction. samexbt
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Mon 28 Jan 13

truth must out says...

samexbt wrote:
In order to ease traffic flow during this period of roadworks, I think that the traffic lights at the Droitwich/Ombersley road junction should be switched off as they are only necessary to allow a safe merge of traffic in a southerly direction.
It actually says that in the news item....!!!
[quote][p][bold]samexbt[/bold] wrote: In order to ease traffic flow during this period of roadworks, I think that the traffic lights at the Droitwich/Ombersley road junction should be switched off as they are only necessary to allow a safe merge of traffic in a southerly direction.[/p][/quote]It actually says that in the news item....!!! truth must out
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 29 Jan 13

New Kid on the Block says...

We have seen this traffic plan before.
A few years ago there was a proposal for a one way system in this area coupled with new bus lanes. The publicoutcry was sufficient on that occasion to see off the idea.
Would anyone care to give odds that someone at the council will claim that this system worked so well it ought to be made permanent with the addition of bus lanes in and out of town and parking restrictions on the two main roads.
These traffic restrictions will cause severe harm to the businesses that are managing to survive along these roads and if made permanent would almost certainly result in the closure of at least one family business.
We have seen this traffic plan before. A few years ago there was a proposal for a one way system in this area coupled with new bus lanes. The publicoutcry was sufficient on that occasion to see off the idea. Would anyone care to give odds that someone at the council will claim that this system worked so well it ought to be made permanent with the addition of bus lanes in and out of town and parking restrictions on the two main roads. These traffic restrictions will cause severe harm to the businesses that are managing to survive along these roads and if made permanent would almost certainly result in the closure of at least one family business. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

8:32am Thu 31 Jan 13

New Kid on the Block says...

I went and had a good look at the exhibition at the football ground and spoke to the contractors yesterday.
They certainly gave the impression that they are doing their best to minimise traffic disruption.
They were open to suggestions of any potential bottlenecks that people with local knowledge suggested and are intending to watch what happens and fine tune things like the timing of the lights in order to keep traffic moving as well as possible.
So pray for good weather and wish them luck.
I went and had a good look at the exhibition at the football ground and spoke to the contractors yesterday. They certainly gave the impression that they are doing their best to minimise traffic disruption. They were open to suggestions of any potential bottlenecks that people with local knowledge suggested and are intending to watch what happens and fine tune things like the timing of the lights in order to keep traffic moving as well as possible. So pray for good weather and wish them luck. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

8:32am Thu 31 Jan 13

New Kid on the Block says...

I went and had a good look at the exhibition at the football ground and spoke to the contractors yesterday.
They certainly gave the impression that they are doing their best to minimise traffic disruption.
They were open to suggestions of any potential bottlenecks that people with local knowledge suggested and are intending to watch what happens and fine tune things like the timing of the lights in order to keep traffic moving as well as possible.
So pray for good weather and wish them luck.
I went and had a good look at the exhibition at the football ground and spoke to the contractors yesterday. They certainly gave the impression that they are doing their best to minimise traffic disruption. They were open to suggestions of any potential bottlenecks that people with local knowledge suggested and are intending to watch what happens and fine tune things like the timing of the lights in order to keep traffic moving as well as possible. So pray for good weather and wish them luck. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

9:37am Sat 2 Feb 13

leeds230 says...

I use Droitwich Road on a Mon-Fri basis to get to work, I work along Barbourne Road. It's bad enough as it is - I have a busy morning in having to drop my child at his childminder before heading to work. Most mornings I can meet traffic on Droitwich Road at the Bilford Road roundabout. It can take me quite some time to travel just this short distance added to the fact that the Droitwich Road lights never stay on long enough.

These roadworks are just going to make my journey twice as bad, especially in trying to get to work on time. There aren't really many other routes I can take either that don't go past schools!

Guess it'll just be a case of wait and see how it affects things.
I use Droitwich Road on a Mon-Fri basis to get to work, I work along Barbourne Road. It's bad enough as it is - I have a busy morning in having to drop my child at his childminder before heading to work. Most mornings I can meet traffic on Droitwich Road at the Bilford Road roundabout. It can take me quite some time to travel just this short distance added to the fact that the Droitwich Road lights never stay on long enough. These roadworks are just going to make my journey twice as bad, especially in trying to get to work on time. There aren't really many other routes I can take either that don't go past schools! Guess it'll just be a case of wait and see how it affects things. leeds230
  • Score: 0

11:07am Sat 2 Feb 13

Jabbadad says...

The early or peak times for traffic into most of Worcester is abysmal, mostly because the Traffic lights don't seem to be phased, and quickly cause a build up of queuing traffic. But it's the old story this city still tries to get traffic into the City center before getting traffic out of the city center, so when these roads quickly become gridlocked there is nowhere for new traffic to go. There must be a traffic study including perhaps a local driver (Taxi or Bus drivers) who see the traffic flows at most times of the day. The moral of this story is you can't fit a pint into a half pint pot, BUT if you continually empty the half pint pot you can continue to fill it.
With any traffic trying to leave Worcester via the Tything they will be held up by the Forest of traffic lights along the Tything, particularly when the lights by the Alice Ottley School change immediately when the crossing button is pressed, then just a couple of hundred yards further you have the lights by the Boys Grammar School then three Hundred yards or so the crossing by the Art College, and a couple of hundred yards more yet another set of lights by the shops, and just a short distance further the traffic lights by the Toll House junction. Unless you are lucky and the lights seem to be working together, it's Stop - Start, Stop- Start.
That is why good traffic lights operating ON DEMAND will control the traffic more efficiently than now. Which of course is the Northern Link.
Thank you Claines.
The early or peak times for traffic into most of Worcester is abysmal, mostly because the Traffic lights don't seem to be phased, and quickly cause a build up of queuing traffic. But it's the old story this city still tries to get traffic into the City center before getting traffic out of the city center, so when these roads quickly become gridlocked there is nowhere for new traffic to go. There must be a traffic study including perhaps a local driver (Taxi or Bus drivers) who see the traffic flows at most times of the day. The moral of this story is you can't fit a pint into a half pint pot, BUT if you continually empty the half pint pot you can continue to fill it. With any traffic trying to leave Worcester via the Tything they will be held up by the Forest of traffic lights along the Tything, particularly when the lights by the Alice Ottley School change immediately when the crossing button is pressed, then just a couple of hundred yards further you have the lights by the Boys Grammar School then three Hundred yards or so the crossing by the Art College, and a couple of hundred yards more yet another set of lights by the shops, and just a short distance further the traffic lights by the Toll House junction. Unless you are lucky and the lights seem to be working together, it's Stop - Start, Stop- Start. That is why good traffic lights operating ON DEMAND will control the traffic more efficiently than now. Which of course is the Northern Link. Thank you Claines. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0
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