Diversion for road closure is ‘ill-conceived’

The bridge in Grangemouth was closed this week for maintenance works which will last four weeks. Picture: Michael Gillen
The bridge in Grangemouth was closed this week for maintenance works which will last four weeks. Picture: Michael Gillen

A councillor has criticised a diversion route through a residential area as drivers are being warned of disruption over the road closure.

Diversions are in place in Grangemouth as the bridge over the Grange Burn is closed off for four weeks at the traffic lights in Bo’ness Road at its junction with Abbots Road heading east for maintenance work which started this week.

Councillor Robert Spears has criticised the route Falkirk Council and First agreed

Councillor Robert Spears has criticised the route Falkirk Council and First agreed

The works, costing £60,000, are to carry out structural strengthening to the bridge deck and new bridge deck waterproofing.

The route takes traffic through Dalratho Road, Carronflats Road and Crichton Drive onto Oxgang Road before going back on to the A904 Bo’ness Road.

The rest of the road from Grangeburn Road onwards to the east, and to the west into the town centre remains open.

However, residents in the streets the diversion goes through say the traffic there is clogging up the roads, especially as buses are now being re-routed with temporary bus stops in place.

Councillor Bob Spears said: “The diversion put in place at the moment is ill-conceived. Surely it would have been better – and safer – to route the traffic through Kingseat Avenue, which is just up the road, rather than these streets which are much narrower.

“You can hardly drive a bike through them, never mind a bus, it’s barely passable. I think some urgent traffic management is needed such as temporary lights.”

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “As a commercial operator, First has chosen this route and we have agreed to put in a number of temporary bus stops to accommodate passengers. We have been told by First that these services are operating well.”

First Midland Bluebird had discussions with Falkirk Council during the planning stage for the roadworks.

A spokesman for First said: “A decision was then taken, in partnership with the council, on the best possible alternative route to ensure the vast majority of our passengers would still be served.

“We note the concerns raised and emphasise that safety is our priority when operating First Midland Bluebird services.”

The council spokesperson added: “Safe pedestrian access will be maintained at all times, but it is necessary to close the road to vehicular traffic for the four weeks duration to ensure the works can be completed safely.

“A signed diversion is in place and discussions regarding re-routing of bus services took place with First in advance of the works starting.

“While these works will cause inconvenience to road users and the public, the works are over a relatively short period of time and are essential to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge and public safety.”