Highways Mayhem

27th June 24

Your Parish Council has meet twice now with Highways to discuss the mayhem that the village had to endure last week. The Coastguard and The National Trust participated and made their points well.  A combination of Upper road being shut at the beginning of the week, the High street being shut at the end of the week and the A258 being closed overnight contributed to the perfect storm.

In Summary:

  • Upfront communication was lacking and partially incorrect – eg the Highways database. Roads closed hours before we were informed they would be.  https://uk.one.network/ 
  • Incorrect signage –  Roads that were shut had no signage – until you reached the works and had to turn back while roads that were open had signs saying closed.
  • Too many roadworks within one same week. All village exits affected! Mayhem!
  • Disappointment that potholes weren’t filled whilst road was closed – particularly those in the middle of the road – opportunity lost.

Thomas William’s – Highways Manager Dover, apologised for errors in the execution of these necessary works.  There were admin input errors in updating their databases and we have asked for processes to ensure there are checks in place in future. The A258 works were being undertaken by a different department.  Signs were not collected after each night works. The contractor and the equipment that fill potholes are different and care funded from a different cost centre  to those that were resurfacing sections of our road.

We have agreed that Highways contact the Parish Council in advance of future works to ensure better coordination.

We are aware that OpenReach have a permit to close Sea Street 16th Sept. We have requested for the works to be limited from 9.30 to 2.30 and access must be possible at all times. – traffic lights / gatemen. Given the width of Sea Street and legal safety considerations this will not be easy. We do recommend to residents   try and avoid using this stretch during the works but are aware that it is the only access to and from the Bay.

We are also aware that Affinity Water require Crisps lane to be shut 19th-27th August We do not anticipate this as being a big problem and hope the affected residents are notified. 

Thomas agreed to provide the National Trust with “White Cliffs open signs ” and the Parish Council asked for “No access to St Margarets” signs which could be used to warn which of our accesses (Upper Road or A258) were open and avoid pointless journeys

Our talks were constructive. In a nutshell it is all about communication and good planning. The village welcomes highways improvements and accept the safety of the contractors is paramount.

These works were manged by Highways for Highways improvements. Other works are undertaken by the utility companies under permits.

The Parish Council will stay vigilant!