There has been a lot of concern expressed over the proposed closure of Watery Lane and Beeches Road for 12 weeks from this coming Monday (the 14th of October) from residents and local businesses.
The closure was because of repairs to Beeches Bridge on Beeches Road which is weakened and in need of repair. A second closure was also proposed to begin on 6 January 2014 for 10 weeks to improve Hanover Bridge (the first bridge as you enter Watery Lane from the Hullbridge side).
Cllr Michael Hoy has been raising concerns about the original closure for work on Beeches Bridge since its announcement in August, and with the further proposal for a 10 week closure from 6 January he reiterated all of the arguments over traffic delays etc the closure at this time would cause. You can read a lot of those concerns in earlier posts.
Michael argued in fact that the closure should have taken place in the summer school holidays starting from 1 July, which would give 9 weeks of holiday time in which to do the work at a time when traffic would be at its lightest. Other suggestions included the use of a Bailey or temporary Bridge parallel to the current one, this however had other problems including getting agreement between 3 landowners over its siting.
Happily in a meeting today Michael argued for and, with the full support of the Cabinet Member for Highways Cllr Rodney Bass, got the agreement to postpone the closure of Beeches Bridge to 1 July 2014 (originally planned for 14 October) and to completely cancel the work proposed for Hanover Bridge. The agreement also included the imposition of a 3 tonne gross weight limit on Hanover Bridge (moving the restriction from Beeches Bridge) to prevent lorries using the road.