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Good news! No road closure

B4215/SEVERN TRENT UPDATE from Mark Harper MP

Further to my post on 4th January regarding the proposed closure of the B4215 by Severn Trent, I am able to provide an additional update with good news. You will remember that at the start of the year Severn Trent proposed to close the B4215 from 14/2/2019 to 12/7/2019. This was in order to replace the ageing water pipe that ran along the road. As I stated at the time, this would have had a huge impact on residents and businesses and I was very concerned about the suggested diversion routes as they were wholly unsuitable for such large traffic numbers. Cllr Len Lawton, Forest of Dean District Councillor for Newent Central and Eli Heathfield, Newent Town Council, have been keeping my office updated with the views of local residents that they have spoken to.

As a result, I wrote to Ms Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of Severn Trent, making her aware of my concerns and the concerns of residents. This was followed up by a meeting which Cllr Brian Robinson, Leader of the Conservative Group on the Forest of Dean District Council, and I had with senior members of the Severn Trent Chief Executive’s team in my office in Cinderford. At that meeting, I requested that Severn Trent review their plans to see whether it was possible to avoid a full road closure. If this just wasn’t possible, I asked them to come up with a plan that ensured the least disruption. Severn Trent agreed to this request and promised to meet with me again once they had come up with some revised plans.

I am pleased to announce that last Friday I had another constructive meeting with Severn Trent in my constituency office. They have produced revised plans that will keep disruption to residents and businesses to a minimum. The new plans will involve large sections of the new pipe being laid on private land. This will keep a significant proportion of the work off the B4215. In areas where engineers must work on the road, there will only be a single lane closure with temporary traffic lights. This means that a full road closure will now not happen at all.

I am grateful to Severn Trent for listening to the concerns I raised on behalf of local residents. At our initial meeting, they promised to look again at their plans and they have kept this promise. After listening to the community, they have come up with a new plan that is a vast improvement on the original. I am grateful to the Senior Team who met with me, and Ms Garfield for her interest in this issue. Severn Trent have said that they will keep me updated as they progress with this vital improvement work.


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