The County Council has closely monitored the temporary traffic signal arrangement on the A29, Church Hill, since its introduction in April. We believe it has operated well and that there has been very little congestion. Although it remains less than ideal we hope the arrangement has helped ease the significant impact that the road closure brought for the residents, businesses and key services for a number of months.
Negotiations with the landowners continued over the last few months, with the hope that the County Council would be able to secure permission to access private land and undertake the essential works on the two embankments under private ownership. The works, if successful, would see the reopening of Church Hill in both directions and under no temporary traffic control. Unfortunately we have not yet been successful in obtaining landowner permission to undertake the works and at this stage we have little confidence that this position will change. The County Council will therefore continue to pursue the more formal legal routes to secure a solution. Unfortunately, at this stage we are unable to provide any time scales for when this will be resolved.
In the meantime, and due to the costs being incurred by the County Council with the current temporary signals, we will be altering the existing arrangement and replacing it with a more sophisticated temporary traffic signal arrangement. The new temporary system will be vehicle activated and will not require manual control by operatives. Due to the costs being incurred with the current arrangement, and the uncertainty on the time scales for a resolution of the embankments work, this change will result in a significant cost reduction and saving for the tax payer.
Unfortunately to implement the new traffic signal arrangement we will need to close Church Hill for 2 days, on the 3rd and 4th of July 2023, and will revert to the previous diversion route. The closure will commence at 9:30am on 3 July to allow the morning’s peak traffic to flow. Whilst we acknowledge that any closure will result in some local congestion and issues, this closure is necessary for the safety of the contractors delivering the works.