Transport User Voice – Onibury A49 roadworks: keeping road users in the loop

31 August 2017

We’ve been making sure the road user voice is heard in planning a key road diversion route.

Earlier in July, Network Rail needed to close a level crossing at Onibury (a village just north of Ludlow in Shropshire) on the Welsh Marches line. The level crossing was in need of a major upgrade and had to be closed for ten days.

The A49 (part of Highways England’s network) that crosses the railway provides a vital link for many communities and small and medium-sized businesses in the area, as well as performing a wider function for the England/Wales borders area. In the Onibury area on average some 12,000 vehicles a day travel on the road, many of them heavy goods vehicles.

We became aware of concerns surrounding the closure of the crossing which included communications with road users and pedestrian access in the village itself – which the railway cuts through. Our chief executive had a meeting with Network Rail’s Route Managing Director, Wales. We were able to put across our concerns surrounding the works and discuss suggestions to help road users.

We were pleased to hear that following our meeting, further discussions between Network Rail and Highways England resulted in some key improvements:

  • a large letter-drop of information about the works to homes and businesses from Shrewsbury to Hereford
  • a series of mobile roadshows about the works to towns and villages along the A49
  • pedestrian access at level crossing to keep both sides of Onibury village connected
  • additional staff to help road users at the diversion route.

A new road surface was installed at the crossing by Network Rail and all the works were completed ahead of schedule.

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