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A34 closure to create 68-mile detour!

Thu, 17 Oct 2013

The Highways Agency has announced essential bridge maintenance works are to take place on the A34 – and has revealed it will divert motorists on a 68-mile detour!

Britain’s longest roadworks diversion

One pothole for every mile of road in Britain

A bridge near Beedon in West Berkshire is going to be closed overnight later in October – but it will be closed from Friday night to Monday morning for two entire weekends in November.

The recommended diversion will be fully signposted and will take motorists on a tour of the M4, A404(M), A404 and M40… the total trip time will be at least one hour, says the agency, “but that could easily increase depending on conditions,” it admitted.

The total 68-mile trip will add 35 miles onto the regular journey via the A34.

However, despite the long-distance detour, local villages are also up in arms… because some motorists may choose to ignore the diversion route and try to weave through local towns instead. Previous roadworks have already seen small villages suffer noise and disruption from a huge spike of long-distance traffic, particularly lorries and HGVs.

The Highways agency says it has ‘carefully planned’ the diversion route to accommodate all types of traffic, and to overcome height restrictions on other routes. However, the sheer length of the 68-mile diversion is already attracting criticism, not to mention raised eyebrows.

Steve Cobb, Highways Agency project sponsor, said there was no choice buy to undertake the work. “This work is absolutely essential to prolong the life and maintain the safety of the bridge, and will benefit all road users. But it will be disruptive, especially when we will be closing one side of the A34 during the two weekends in November.

“We strongly advise drivers to plan ahead, to avoid this section of the A34 if at all possible.

“We have planned it to minimise disruption and that is why the main closures are at weekends when traffic is lighter, and involve one carriageway at a time. The diversion route journey is a minimum 60 minutes but that could easily increase depending on conditions.”

What’s the longest road diversion you’ve been on? Can it beat the 68-mile diversion of the A34? Be sure to share it with us…