Anglian Water explains its plan to close busy road for 11 weeks in Milton Keynes
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The water company has announced major water pipe replacement works will be carried out from February next year at Newport Road in Woburn Sands .
This means a stretch of the road, from the railway crossing gates and up to number 93 Newport Road, will be closed between February 1 and April 18. The level crossing itself will also be closed.
Danesborough Ward councillors David Hopkins, Alice Jenkins and Victoria Hopkins say this will effectively cut the community of Woburn Sands and nearby Wavendon in two.
It will cut children off from their schools and nurseries, impact business either side of the level crossing, and force all traffic that would normally use Newport Road on to Hardwick Road, The Leys, Bow Brickhill Road and then through Bow Brickhill village, they say.
The number of vehicles forced to take this diversion is estimated at 6000 per day.
Under the same works scheme, Anglain Water proposes to close Cranfield Road in Woburn Sands from February 1 to March 25. During this time there will be two-way lights set up at the junction of Newport Road and Cranfield Road to manage a one in then one out situation for residents and emergency services to access and exit.
No through traffic will be allowed through Cranfield Road and a diversion will be signed accordingly.
The councillors are concerned that emergency vehicle access would be restricted if this proposal by goes ahead.
Cllr Hopkins said: “This week road closure is potentially catastrophic for our local community and we are seeking an urgent meeting with Anglian Water (involving MK Council Highways Department) to seek alternative arrangements to this draconian request”.
He added “Is this this a taste of things to come should the East West Rail Company ever get their wish to close the railway crossing at Woburn Sands as part of its East West Rail project?”
The councillors are demanding an immediate halt to Anglian Water's proposals.
A spokesman for Anglian Water told the Citizen today: "We’re currently planning work to install around 500m of new water main along Newport Road in Woburn Sands, early next year. The scheme is vital to maintain customer supplies and reduce the risk of burst water mains in the future.
“Because of its proximity to the railway crossing, we need to ensure we can work safely. We’re currently working with a traffic management company and the local Highway Authority, to explore the different options which allow us to do this – one of which is to temporarily closing Newport Road and diverting traffic along an alternative route.
"However, these plans have not been finalised and we’re still considering different solutions in order to minimise the disruption for the local community. We’ll be writing to local customers with further details in the coming weeks.”