I have been contacted by a number of constituents about the United Utilities roadworks, currently in place in Uppermill, following their decision earlier this year to postpone sewerage works to look again at traffic disruption.
I visited local businesses on Saturday 12th July to see how they’re being affected by the road works. Some were experiencing very little impact but others were worried about reduced footfall and one had a dramatic incident when their shop sign was knocked off the wall by a vehicle on the two-way traffic system on Church Road, which is, of course, usually one-way.
There were also concerns about the safety of pedestrians walking on Church Road so I have written to United Utilities to request they enhance safety and signage including to the temporary parking facilities.
A concerned constituent has also been in regular contact with me about the potential problems the road works may cause the emergency services. I’ve written to Oldham Council, the police, ambulance and fire services and had reassurances that they have informed their staff about the work in the areas affected.
I am still in touch with the constituent, who has asked me to get further clarification from the services on a couple of points, and we will continue to offer any help we can to monitor the situation.
Please find below the response I have received from United Utilities about the issues I picked up in Uppermill:
Thank you for your email on behalf of Debbie’s constituents in Uppermill. Perhaps I could answer each of the points raised in turn:
These points all relate to decisions made for our traffic management plan:
• roadworks are affecting passing traffic
• Temporary traffic light are leading to delays – making it difficult to get in and out of Uppermill
• Effect on trade and footfall – it’s been quieter
• Roads struggling with two way traffic
We recognise that any changes to the existing traffic system in a small village like Uppermill will inevitably have an impact so we have done everything we can to minimise this impact as far as possible. We have been liaising with the local council regarding all traffic management decisions over the last 9 months of planning.
The traffic lights on High Street had been installed for phase 3 of our scheme in response to requests to minimise the duration of the diversion route which is still required for phases 4, 5 and 6. We have had a traffic management team onsite throughout the day whilst the traffic lights were on High Street. These traffic lights are due to be removed today (21 July) when the diversion comes into force. There is never an ideal time to do work like this but we have listened to the feedback from residents throughout the planning stages and that is why the work was rescheduled from the original winter timescale to the quieter school summer holidays. We will also be working 13 days in every fortnight throughout phases 3, 4,5 and 6 in order to get off site as quickly as we can.
Parking issues and signage about which car parks are open and not
No car parks have been restricted as a part of our works and all diversions have been clearly signposted. Our site team have been checking all signage twice a day and will continue to do so, but please let us know of any particular issues which may be causing confusion.
Temporary footpath on Side Street by Uppermill therapies not suitable
The footpath which is segregated by barriers has been put in place for safety reasons due to the two-way traffic using the road and because there is a nursery on that side of the road. However, now that the traffic lights are being removed today, the temporary footpath will also be removed.
A local shop owner said her shop sign got knocked down by a United Utilities truck.
Our customer coordinator will visit the shop today to discuss any issues they may have. However from today, the traffic lights will be removed and we will move onto phase 4 of our works.
Contact at United Utilities
For residents and business owners, we would like them to use the following contact details: Tel. No. 0345 672 3723 quoting project number NCA 80029009.
This is the number we have quoted on the letter because it is a 24-hour contact number and any issues will be passed to one of the Uppermill site team. We have dedicated customer support staff who are regularly on site to liaise with the community. Over the summer period it may not always be the same person, due to holidays etc, but we will make sure customers get a quick response.
I hope this information is helpful.
Helen Apps (formerly Wilson)
External Affairs Manager