Furious drivers have reacted with cynical disgust on social media to news that the Millhouse Roundabout roadworks saga in Worksop is to stretch into December.
Traffic has been hit by severe queues and delays for the last eight months by a £4.2 million scheme to make improvements at the key A57 roundabout.
The work has taken much longer than planned because of unforeseen problems with drainage, ground-engineering issues and the discovery and safe removal of asbestos.
Now Nottinghamshire County Council says the final stages of the project, set to start on Monday, November 21, will not be completed until the week beginning Monday, December 5. For 15 nights, there will be road closures between 8 pm and 6 am, and diversions in place.
“It’s a joke!” blasted Sally Minshall and Liz Wilkinson on Facebook. “Pathetic!” screamed Sandra Smith. “A nightmare!” cried Rachel Jane Wood. While Lewis Martindale and Troy Brazier said they’d be amazed if the work was completed by December. “They’ll be at it until Christmas Eve, causing as much chaos as they can,” added Troy. Tracey Oldfield said: “Seriously, this is crazy. How long does it take to widen a road and put in a few traffic lights?”
Anne Scott accused the council of “terrible” planning, while others said they now avoided Worksop because of the long delays. Peter Sprowell said: “it would have been better if the roundabout had been flattened and turned into a junction.”
The work is being carried out by Via East Midlands, on behalf of the council who say it is “working hard to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum”.
Via East Midlands insists the work will, when finally completed, be an asset to Worksop and the surrounding area.
Neil Hodgson, head of consultancy for the company, said: “The improvement works at the Millhouse Roundabout is a major project that will bring a number of long-term benefits to the region.
“Local residents and road-users will be well aware of the unforeseen issues that we have encountered during the works. These have resulted in the construction period being longer than originally anticipated, and I am acutely aware of the frustration this brings to all concerned, so I thank everyone for their patience.
“We are now entering the final stages of construction, with works culminating in the resurfacing and road marking of the roundabout and A57 southbound carriageway between the Sainsburys and Millhouse roundabouts. We have ensured these works are scheduled overnight to minimise the impact on road-users and will work to minimise the extent of any daytime lane closures for the remaining period of the project.”