The full closure of Outer Circle Road after Lincoln motorists ignored signage has caused gridlocks in the area, and one business said that reckless drivers are to blame for the issues.
The work began at Outer Circle Road on Monday, January 10, with main contractor Maher Millard Construction constructing a wider access to Wickes, allowing for in/out traffic.
Initial plans were to create a temporary one-way route from Greetwell Road to Wragby Road while the works took place, but this has now become a full road closure in both directions after signage was being consistently ignored by drivers.
The situation became so severe that police had to get involved, and after sending an urgent request to Highways to look into it, a full road closure was ordered during the afternoon of Tuesday, January 11.
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire County Council said: “Motorists were ignoring the signage and trying to go round it, so not obeying the restrictions, and police had to get involved.
“As a result there will be a total road closure of the road for eight weeks (as of lunchtime on January 11).”
Emma and Alicia North, who along with their mum run Cooks Kitchen in the Wickes car park on Outer Circle Road, say they “can’t wait for the work to be finished” and say the problem is ultimately the behaviour of road users.
They told The Lincolnite: “The plan was never to cut off the main route but they were left with no other choice.
“We’ve seen the workers getting abused, cars bumping into one another to try and get through, even one car driving down the grass embankment to access the car park.
“We can’t wait for the new entrance and wider access, it will be so much better, but people haven’t listened to the instructions and have ruined it for everyone else.”
The pair have said that the closure has had a direct impact on their business, as well as the ease of access around that area of Lincoln.
They continued: “It’s really affecting us but what can you do? The council assured us we wouldn’t be affected but we’ve had to move our premises around the car park as works happen.
“It has delayed our opening hours so far and while we still have our loyal customers coming to support us, there’s really limited footfall at the moment.
“The council have to do something about it, surrounding streets are gridlocked because of the closure and it’s causing problems not just for us and Wickes, but also for people on nearby school runs and anyone going to the hospital.”
Despite this, Emma and Alicia said that they were given no indication of the full road closure by the council, and said they found out about it by reading it on The Lincolnite on Tuesday.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The closure on Outer Circle Road was brought about because multiple drivers were ignoring the traffic restrictions we had put in place whilst works are ongoing.
“There were several near misses between oncoming vehicles because some drivers were not obeying the traffic signals and trying to cut through the works.
“Even after we dramatically increased the signage at the site, vehicles were still trying to illegally get past causing several near collisions which put themselves, other road users and the site crew in immediate danger.
“It is regrettable, but entirely necessary, that this closure happened before the situation continued to escalate and someone was seriously hurt, or worse. We would like to thank everyone for their patience while the works are safely carried out.”