Kettering residents left fuming as 'absolute shambles' roadworks trap motorists

A road closure of a main Kettering town route combined with the introduction of major roadworks on the diversion route

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 10:12 am
Deeble Road bridge during previous roadworks

An over-running road closure combined with the imposition of four-way temporary traffic lights have left frustrated residents fuming as they faced huge detours, delays and disruption.

Northants Highways took to social media to apologise to furious motorists after the Deeble Road road bridge resurfacing was delayed 'due to plant breakdown and material shortage'.

The Deeble Road closure was due to end on Sunday (August 14), but the continued blockage meant roadworks starting on the diversion route caused traffic to back up as Anglian Water began its scheduled mains work.

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Deeble Road bridge

In a tweet @NNHighways offered an apology saying: "We would like to apologise for the disruption to traffic last night in Kettering. Highways are working with @AnglianWater and will have the temporary signals manned this morning. They are there for safety and provide multiple crossing points for pedestrians."

Adding that: "The resurfacing went well last night and we are finalising the works this morning and looking to have the road open by midday."

Motorists trying to use the official diversion along Warkton Lane to Barton Road found themselves stuck in traffic, trying to reach appointments, collect children and stuck on their own drives.

The official nine-minute, 3.6 mile diversion for residents of the huge housing estate turned into a 40-minute ordeal for motorists as they followed the route.

The official diversion sent motorists through the new roadworks

On Twitter @raldanna said to Northamptonshire Highways @NNHighways : "It is an ABSOLUTE shambles around the Barton Seagrave/Wicksteed Park area tonight with extra traffic lights now on Warkton Lane/Barton Road. You are doing nothing but massively annoying all local residents!"

Another said with a hint of sarcasm: "So not only is Deeble Road shut.....there's 4-way lights on the Warkton Lane/A6 junction.... Well done...."

The delays were as a result of the work to waterproof the Deeble Road bridge surface with the reason given 'a delay due to plant breakdown and material shortage'.

Cllr Elliot Prentice, representing North Northants Council's Ise Ward was in talks with contractors Keir - on the Deeble Road closure - and Anglian Water regarding the Warkton Lane lights.

Updating residents on social media last night, he wrote: "I have spoken to Kier (contractors) a moment ago and asked if Deeble Road can be partially opened before 9am tomorrow. The road is currently unsafe to drive on and is being resurfaced tonight. If it is safe to do so in the morning, the road may be opened to single lane traffic with a speed restriction in place - this will be decided on overnight.

"Kier are also working with Anglian Water to discuss the possibility of stopping the roadworks on Warkton Lane ASAP.

"I agree with you that the works have been a huge inconvenience to residents in the area, of which I am one.

"I am advised that the work on Warkton Lane was not due to start until Deeble Road was fully open again. Unfortunately, the work on Deeble Road was delayed due to machinery issues and this put the work back. The work at Warkton should have been delayed as a result, but it appears there has been a miscommunication.

"Unfortunately, my role as a councillor does not enable me to physically remove road works or stop Highways works. What my role does enable me to do is to represent the views of the residents within Ise ward and to hold the council accountable for its actions. Something I fully intend to do. I apologise that despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to resolve this issue tonight."

Cllr Prentice updated residents saying: "I have received an update from highways to advise works went well overnight and should be finished by 10am with the road to open shortly after.

"I appreciate this has not helped this morning and I will be following up with the highways director to detail the issues this has caused for residents."

Speaking to this paper Cllr Prentice, who was stuck in the jams for 40 minutes and was contacted by residents, added: "Kier has worked with me until very late and worked very hard to sort this out. I have already followed this up this morning. Kier liaised with Anglian Water and I liaised with them - they have worked very hard to sort this."