Residents were left in dark about six-week road closure

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Wylam resident Ken John and parish councillor Brian Japes.
Wylam resident Ken John and parish councillor Brian Japes.
23 March 2017 11:16AM

RESIDENTS in Wylam were left in the dark over the closure of a vital route into the village.

Locals only learned of the impending closure of a stretch of Holeyn Hall Road after a sign with an incorrect date was put up.

Now the county council’s decision not to publish public notices in the Hexham Courant has been branded “appalling” by villagers.

In February, Wylam Parish Council was contacted by residents concerned by a sign stating that the road would be closed for six weeks from the beginning of March.

After making a number of inquiries, Coun. Brian Japes learned that the sign had been erected in error.

Gentoo is currently constructing a housing development at Wylam Hills Farm, which neighbours Holeyn Hall Road.

The road closure is required in order to carry out essential sewer works.

The developer stated that the road would be closed for six weeks, but not until April 3.

And last week, a public notice finally appeared in the Alnwick-based Northumberland Gazette stating that a 150-metre stretch of the road would be closed from April 3 to May 12.

Holeyn Hall Road is one of the main access routes into and out of the village.

Now Wylam residents are expressing their anger that had Coun. Japes not uncovered the dates for the closure, and put them in the village newsletter – the Wylam Globe – they would not have been informed.

Vice-chairman of the Wylam Parish Council, Councillor Tom Martin said: “I think not to have public notices in the Hexham Courant is frankly, appalling.

“People often bought the Courant specifically to look at the public notices.”

Resident Ken John added: “It’s disgrace. I can’t think of a better word to use.

“It’s a total disgrace.

“This will have seriously implications for the village and it’s not in our local newspaper. I think that’s inexcusable.”

Coun. Japes added: “This is the first time I can remember seeing a major closure in the village not being reported.

“If that continued it would be a concern.”

Concerns were also raised over the rerouting of public and school buses and diversions taking drivers along nearby narrow and winding roads.

Northumberland County Council said it had listened to concerns to draw up a diversion.

The route will take traffic over Wylam Bridge and up to the A695, through Crawcrook and west to the Broomhaugh roundabout, along the A68 then the A69 down to Wylam on the B6528 and Holeyn Hall Road, with the opposite route for return.

A spokesman added: “Notifications have been sent to bus companies and we are working with the housing developer, and have asked them to liaise with bus companies and the school transport team to ensure that all suitable arrangements are put in place before the work starts.”

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