Roadworks in Scarborough: why have there been so many and when will they end?
Road users in Scarborough have been putting up with roadworks for months.
Just as one set of temporary traffic lights is removed, it seems another appears elsewhere.
Multiple main routes have been affected, causing delays and disruption to many, which begs the question – when will they be complete?
Though the works are often carried out by utility companies, it is the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council to monitor and co-ordinate them by issuing permits to ensure public safety and reduce congestion and delays.
Why so many roadworks?
The county council says due to the third lockdown, they authorized utility works when traffic levels were lower.
However, as restrictions are now being lifted, there still remain many roadworks around the town with plenty more scheduled over the coming months.
According to the council there are currently two major utility schemes in Scarborough, one being undertaken by Northern Powergrid on Valley Road and Westbourne Grove which started last October, and the other being carried out by Northern Gas Networks on Manor Road which should be complete by April 17.
Karl Battersby, Corporate Director of Business and Environmental Services at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Given [the lockdown] situation, we made the decision to allow essential utility works while traffic flow is significantly lower to reduce the risk of a surge in demand when restrictions are lifted.
“Winter is the best time for these works to be carried out, before our spring and summer surface dressing programme and before the summer tourist season.”
Disruption to residents
However, the reduction in traffic levels has also meant some of the roadworks being carried out have caused more disruption than usual, according to locals.
A resident in the Prospect Road area, who did not wish to be named, said: “The big issue is that in order to dig up the roads and the paths they need people to move their cars but no-one is going to work or anywhere so parking is a nightmare.
“There are cars everywhere and I’ve had to park three streets away, which is not great when you’re carrying shopping or have young children.
“We were told the work would last for a week but the restrictions on parking on our road last for a fortnight so that seems unlikely.
“It’s also not great trying to work from home while someone is tearing up the Tarmac outside your window.”
Northern Powergrid investment scheme
The Northern Powergrid works are part of a £1 million project by the company to replace more than four miles of high voltage underground electric cable which started in October 2020.
Replacing the cable is essential, says the electricity supplier, as it is more than 50 years old, but involves several road closures.
A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid has confirmed the work is progressing as scheduled and should be completed by May.
She said: “We’d like to thank everyone in Scarborough who has been directly impacted for their ongoing patience and support whilst we carry out this essential work on the local electricity network.”
Mr Battersby added: “I can reassure residents that when we issue permits, we strive to avoid multiple works close together.
“Permits are issued with deadlines for completion of the work and any overrun can and does result in a fine.”