Frustration due to diverted Worthing bus routes during gas works

DM16143376a.jpg Roadworks in Poulters Lane Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160913-121159008

DM16143376a.jpg Roadworks in Poulters Lane Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160913-121159008

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Elderly residents are among those left frustrated by a lengthy roadworks scheme in Poulters Lane leading to diversions to bus services.

Councillors met with contractors SGN on Friday, September 9, in an attempt to hasten the works after receiving complaints about disruption.

A grandmother from Offington Lane was distressed to find the bus she uses to get to the shops now stops too far from her door.

Grace Starr said: “It’s a matter of being able to do it. If I could walk, I’d walk down Poulters Lane, but we do have quite a large contingency of elderly people here.”

She added that half of the 12-week gas works could have been done during the summer holidays, when the school run for pupils at Thomas A Becket would not have added to traffic.

Offington councillor Louise Murphy said residents had commented about issues with increased traffic and the location of a temporary bus stop on a corner that is now due to be moved.

Leader of Adur and Worthing District Council Daniel Humphreys said a meeting with contractors was called by MP Tim Loughton.

Councillor Humphreys said SGN had explained the gas main works involved houses on both sides of the road at once.

Shutting the road in stages had been ruled out by highways officers on the basis it would worsen traffic in surrounding roads such as Offington Gardens.

“I think we all left wishing that we’d known about it more in advance,” he said. “The reassuring thing is that three months is the worst possible outcome, it’s likely to take less time than that.”

Worthing Stagecoach operations manager Rob Vince said there were no plans to permanently change bus routes in the area.

He said: “The sooner the roadworks are over and we can get back to normal the happier we will be.

“At the end of the day, three months is a long time and it’s a lot of disruption to our customers, and we understand that, which is why we’ve chosen the closest possible route we can to minimise that disruption.

“If SGN can get their work done as quickly as possible, we’ll get back to normal as soon as the road opens up again.”

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