25-mile diversion to be put in place due to B3232 road closure
By North Devon Journal | Thursday, January 17, 2013, 07:32
DRIVERS are to be sent on a 25-mile diversion because a two-mile stretch of road is being dug up.
LONG WAY ROUND: The diversion route for drivers wanting to get from Roundswell (A) to Newton Tracey (D). Image: Google Maps
The B3232 between Torrington and Barnstaple will be closed for drainage works at St John's Chapel from January 21 to January 25.
It means people wanting to get from Roundswell in Barnstaple to Newton Tracey, which is on the B3232, will be diverted along a route that will add at least 45 minutes to their journey time.
Devon County Council's suggested diversion is along the A39, through Bishops Tawton, along the A377 through Umberleigh, on to the B3227 to Torrington and then back on to the B3232 at the other end.
Richard Jenkins, landlord at the Hunters Inn in Newton Tracey, says he sympathises with the council which has to carry out essential works.
But he will be going out on the first day of the road closure to ensure clear signs are put up to make people aware they can still access the pub.
He added: "It probably will affect us but what we are going to do is get them to put some decent signage at either end so people can see they can come through.
"The difficulty for them is they have to divert traffic on to roads of a similar or better type.
"Cars can use the by-roads but if they just put signs at Roundswell saying 'road closed' it will affect us."
Mr Jenkins is keen to stress that drivers coming from Torrington can still access the Hunters Inn via the B3232.
He said: "We appreciate the difficulties the council has and we know it will do its best within its limits."
Residents living in the area who use the B3232 regularly have expressed their concerns at the road closure.
Charlie Potts, of Mill Street, Torrington, is a hairdresser who needs to travel to Roundswell on a regular basis.
She said: "If I need to go and get colours for my clients I will have to book out extra time. That is a loss of clients for me which will affect my business. Plus traffic can be awful in Bideford."
Clare Caris, who also lives in Torrington, said: "For those of us needing to be in Barnstaple at a specific time it will be a pain.
"Unless it's improving the condition of that road, which I doubt will ever happen, it seems an unnecessary blight on us."
Robin Kearney, a doctor working in Barnstaple, visits patients in Torrington and says the road closure will affect how much time he is able to devote to them.
He said: "We work from the Barnstaple Health Centre seeing people in their homes to prevent them being readmitted into hospital.
"We have several patients in Torrington which we see regularly, a couple of whom have been recently discharged from hospital and we see them every few days. Having that road closed is going to put extra time on our travel, giving us less time for patients."
Hannah Wicks, from Devon County Council, said: "I can confirm that essential highway drainage works are due to be carried out on the B3232 at St John's Chapel between Monday, January 21 and Friday, January 25.
"A traffic order is in place and all relevant parties have been informed of the closure."