Chaos on Aylesbury's roads as multiple works gridlock town just as schools reopen
The timing of the roadworks has drew frustration within the Aylesbury community.
Roadworks in Aylesbury has disrupted traffic across the centre of town just as children are returning to school.
Many Aylesbury schools reopened on Monday (6 September), yet this week Aylesbury is littered with traffic controlling measures.
A diversion route has slowed traffic on Bicester Road, as Bucks Council has authorised 'emergency works' on Gatehouse Road.
The roadworks are linked to the ongoing project readying a new Sainsbury's mega store by Gatehouse Road.
The reasoning behind the diversion given by the council reads as follows. It says: "New foul sewer connection from new Sainsbury's Store onto existing foul sewer on Bicester Road + new pedestrian tiger crossing. Depth of excavation Circa 3.5m requires full road closure for H & S reasons. Unable to open & close in one operation as existing service is in the centre of the road."
One Twitter user criticised this diversion saying, "How long is this work going on for? Isn’t it work evolved from new Sainsbury’s so why could it not have been done during holidays.Took 45 [minutes] from [Bierton] road to Gatehouse on Monday nothing indicating road closure only at roundabout junction."
Another Twitter user described the latest works as 'mind-boggling' once again referencing the start of a new school year.
Further delays have been caused on Buckingham Road where one lane has been closed during the week.
An Arriva Buses spokesperson apologised for the delays to the bus timetable which the official advised was due to school traffic yesterday (8 September).
Thames Water has closed a further Central Aylesbury road due to 'essential maintenance'.
The highway on Castle Street is closed while sewer cleaning is completed in the area.
Other traffic slowing measures remain active in town which are linked to the pandemic.
Roadworks in Central Aylesbury are used by the council to 'allow cafes and businesses to operate outdoors in accordance with government guidance/instruction on social distancing'.
Councillor Steven Broadbent said: "I apologise for any disruption caused by these essential road works in Aylesbury.
"Unfortunately, the works associated with the closure of part of Bicester Road couldn't take place during the school holidays due to other works needing to be completed before this one could go ahead.
"The road works on Gatehouse Road were for one night only and were caused by a collapsed sewer cover. The diversion for Bicester Road was temporarily changed so they did not conflict with each other for that night. The original road diversion is now back in place."
Editor's note: the piece has been updated to include a response from Bucks Council.