Harbour road works are facing months of delays

By Forester Reporter   |   Reporter   |
Friday 11th June 2021 2:57 pm
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Major plans to improve the road to Lydney Harbour are facing months of delay due to a winter birds nesting survey.

Contractors started work on a £2.1 million project to transform the docks into a major tourism destination last year.

And a total of £1.5 million was also earmarked to improve the roads in the area along with creating a shared space for cyclists and pedestrians.

However, local county councillor Alan Preest says the road, which should have been completed in March this year, will not be done until September.

Gloucestershire County Council officers say a winter bird nesting survey and the coronavirus pandemic have contributed to the delay.

Councillor Preest is calling on the council to get the work completed as soon as possible.

“They think they will get it done in September but I’m trying to scurry it along as much as I can,” he said.

“I know we’ve had to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic but it was ratified by cabinet at the county council following the work that the Forest of Dean district council had done in December 2019.

“The original finish date was March this year, but winter birds surveys in adjacent fields has been the excuse.

“Well bird surveys were done down there back in 2017. Bearing in mind the only way in and out of the big industrial estate is along that stretch of road. You’ve easily got 150 HGV movements in a day, probably a lot more.

“I can’t understand quite why they feel they can’t resurface the road. Bearing in mind the adjacent fields they are on about are the other side of the canal.

“I find it, as do most people and businesses in the town, very much over the top.

“Let’s get the surface down, let’s get the adequate lighting in. The docks are one of the major landmarks in the Forest of Dean.

“Really, should we be worrying about birds or getting this major route sorted out and trying to boost the economy of the Forest of Dean?”

Mark Darlow-Joy, Highways Contract Manager at Gloucestershire County Council, said they are working to be on site as soon as possible but the winter birds nesting survey has caused a delay of up to six months.

“We appreciate the issues raised however, all of the council’s major projects must take into account any impact on the environment or natural habitats,” he said.

“And as this road sits within a wetland area of international importance by law we have to carry out a winter birds nesting survey which has contributed a delay of up to six months.

“In addition, Covid has also had an impact on this project and has contributed to the time needed to complete the scheme.

“We are currently finalising plans for the project and aim to be on site at the earliest opportunity.”

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