A1 works are a ‘nightmare’

Susan Robinson (seen with her granddaughter Grace Armstrong) is having difficulty accessing her home at Newton Villa because of roadworks on the A1.
Susan Robinson (seen with her granddaughter Grace Armstrong) is having difficulty accessing her home at Newton Villa because of roadworks on the A1.
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A grandmother has described roadworks on the A1 as a ‘total nightmare’ after she was unable to reach her home.

But when they returned from holiday on Tuesday, they didn’t know how to get access to their drive, because of resurfacing works between Felton and Newton Low Hall on the A1.

Roadworks on the A1 near Newton On The Moor.

Roadworks on the A1 near Newton On The Moor.

Work started last week, with the southbound carriageway closed and a 24-hour contraflow in operation. But a lack of signage has created a storm of protest from motorists and nearby residents.

Susan said: “It has been a total nightmare and a huge, huge hassle.

“There are no signs coming north to tell you how to call for an escort or even how to get to us and other residents along here.

“And the workers have been so unhelpful.” To get in and out of their road, close to Newton on the Moor, the family has to call for an escort to be taken through the roadworks.

Roadworks on the A1 near Newton On The Moor.

Roadworks on the A1 near Newton On The Moor.

But they were not aware of this.

Susan said: “We received a letter from Lafarge Tarmac which said the works would be taking place and that junctions would be closed off. But it didn’t say how we would get in and out.

“We asked the workers about getting better signage and they were so belligerent, all we wanted was a bit of help.

“When we came home on Tuesday, we ended up driving up and down twice before putting on the hazards, moving a cone, and driving across.

Roadworks on the A1.

Roadworks on the A1.

“But we were told off for doing that, and I said all we wanted to do was get access to our property.

“And then a policeman turned up at the door, saying they weren’t going to prosecute us, because we crossed the roadworks – but all we were doing is trying to get to our house.”

To make matters even more difficult, Susan looks after her two-year-old granddaughter Grace every day, and whose mum now has to go through the escort process every morning.

Susan said: “We know the work has to be done, but we need better signage, especially northbound, so that people know how to get to us.

“ After calling round all the different agencies and getting nowhere, I finally managed to speak to someone at Lafarge Tarmac who said they would sort out that out and we hope they do. It’s not just us that is affected by this, there are other businesses and residents as well.

“At Christmas time, do you really want this kind of access?

“I do a bit of online shopping when the cupboards are bare, but there is no way I could do it now. Tesco or Asda just wouldn’t be able to get through to us.

“The postman has to be escorted down and the bins didn’t get emptied because the council didn’t know about it, it’s just been awful.”

Lafarge Tarmac told Mrs Robinson that they would get better signage put in place.

The Gazette contacted the company for a comment, but at the time of going to press no response had been received.

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “Our contractor has had extensive contact with Mrs Robinson to discuss her concerns and we understand that her issues have now been resolved. If she, or anyone else directly affected by the works would like to get in touch with us they can do so via the HA helpline – 0300 5000 1234.”