Drivers trying to get through Bradford on Avon face delays this week while Wiltshire Council contractors work on improvements to two major routes through the town.
The closure of the A363 through Market Street and Masons Lane is likely to lead to delays for traffic trying to get through the town centre.
Lengthy diversions are being signposted through the town centre, and through Trowbridge, Holt and Staverton for drivers trying to get around them.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman urged drivers to avoid the town if possible or, if they can’t, to follow the signposted diversions to avoid the roadworks in the town centre.
He said: “We apologise for the inconvenience while this essential work is taking place. We would advise people to find alternative routes if at all possible.”
Early morning rush hour traffic was tailed back as far as the Westwood turn off from the Frome Road and it was taking more than 20 minutes to reach the town centre.
The work to reconstruct the carriageway in Market Street and Masons Lane and then re-surface the road is expected to take most of this week and is currently on schedule despite the wet weather.
Towards the end of the work, the workers from C H Contracting, will then start work on the B3107 through Silver Street as far as its junction with the Holt Road.
Access will be maintained for local residents and businesses where possible, although long delays are likely due to the nature of the works.
The A363 through Market Street and Masons Lane is being temporarily closed from 7am to 6pm. Traffic is being diverted via B3109 Mount Pleasant, New Road and Springfield to the B3107 Holt Road, Woolley Street and Silver Street and vice versa.
The B3107 closure will take place for 24 hours on Sunday, March 18. Through traffic will be diverted via Trowbridge along the B3107, B3105, B3106 and A363 and vice versa.
Further closures were originally scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 21, 22 and 23. It is not known whether these will still be required as the original plans changed.
One of Britain’s biggest telecoms companies has missed the opportunity to lay cables in part of Bradford on Avon for the next five years.
Virgin Media was due to start work last Thursday on installing ducting in Market Street and Masons Lane for telecommunications cables.
The plan was for Virgin Media to complete the work before Wiltshire Council undertakes much-needed carriageway reconstruction and road surfacing works on the main A363 route through the town.
But Virgin Media failed to start the work and Wiltshire Council said the firm has informed the authority it has no plans to lay any services in Bradford on Avon before 2019.
The Wiltshire Times has approached Virgin Media for an explanation and comment. As yet, it has failed to provide any.
However, the company’s failure to take advantage of the opportunity to work in Masons Lane and Market Street means it now cannot lay services in those areas for the next five years.
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We co-ordinated the major resurfacing scheme on Market Street, Silver Street and Masons Lane with Virgin Media to ensure our surfacing took place after they had finished their ducting work.
“This is because a Section 58 notice to protect the new surface will be in place to restrict non-essential work for the following five years.
“Virgin Media informed us there are no plans to lay any services in Bradford on Avon before 2019 but it now won’t be possible in this location until 2023.”
Workmen from contractors, C H Contracting, last night closed the B3107 in Silver Street from 7pm until 12 midnight so they could start work on the carriageway reconstruction and re-surfacing.
Once the work in Market Street and Masons Lane is complete the previous yellow hatchings in the narrow areas will not be returning as part of a planned experiment to see whether their absence improves traffic flow.
Market Street and Masons Lane will close for seven days from Monday, March 12 from 7am to 6pm. Diversion signs are in place.
Through traffic will be diverted via Trowbridge using the B3107, B3105, B3106 and A363 and vice versa.