Water works will mean yet more traffic delays
COMMUTERS face further delays getting into Bristol in the New Year – as the A370 continues to be dug up to replace an old water main.
Motorists are already facing delays along the A370 Long Ashton bypass due to a £198,000 project to carry out repairs to Kennel Farm Bridge.
Some motorists have reported delays of around 30 minutes because of diversions in place at the end of the bypass while work is carried out.
Bus companies have been forced to re-route their services to ensure commuters get into the city on time.
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The work to the bridge is expected to finish in mid-December – giving motorists a break from the roadworks over the Christmas period.
But the roadworks reprieve will be short lived as Bristol Water is due back on the A370 through Backwell and Flax Bourton in February to continue its work to replace an old water main. Work on the A370 will continue until October, with signals being used to control the traffic.
No exact dates of which part of the A370 will be reached at which point have been finalised with Bristol Water chiefs saying it "depends on how work progresses".
The first part of the scheme is due to finish in December. But then work will begin on the final phase – going back along the A370.
The overall scheme, being carried out by Bristol Water, started in January and is expected to take two years to complete.
The firm is spending millions of pounds on upgrading two of its water trunk mains, one which runs from Chelvey Pump Station to Reservoir Farm, Barrow Gurney and a second which runs from the pumping station to Wild Country Lane. The work will involve putting a new polyethylene pipe inside the existing heavily corroded cast iron pipe.
The pipes are about 150 years old and it is hoped the work will see an improvement in water quality.
The news of more roadworks on the A370 has prompted concerns additional traffic trying to avoid delays could be forced through the villages of Long Ashton and Wraxall.
Long Ashton and Wraxall councillor Bob Cook said: "I am concerned that the work on the A370 will force traffic through Wraxall and Long Ashton.
"Long Ashton is already congested and even a small amount of additional traffic could cause problems.
"I understand this work needs to be done, but I will be speaking to our highways officers to see how best any additional traffic coming off the A370 could be managed."
Bristol Water says the scheme is necessary because the current pipes are so years old and are heavily corroded and have reached the end of the life.
A spokesman said: "This is essential work which has to be done."