Apology over traffic chaos in Foulridge

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An apology has been made by United Utilities following traffic chaos in Foulridge.

At the start of the month, repair works were carried out on the main A56 road, due to a water leak that is said to have started eight to 10 weeks prior.

Drivers were made to sit in half-mile tailbacks as a result of the temporary traffic lights, and many were forced to take more rural routes.

While it is understood that the emergency works were necessary, residents feel that it could have been completed in a more efficient and costly manner.

Clive Holt (69), of Skipton Old Road, told the Colne Times that the hole was dug and the traffic lights were installed. But in over a week, “it appeared no work was carried out” until the last day.

He added: “When it is a major highway it is completely irresponsible.”

Following the repair works, it has been agreed to discuss the matter at the next parish council meeting, and County. Coun Paul White has said he will be making representations to United Utilities and the Highways Department to ensure future work is completed quicker.

He added: “This is a particularly bad stretch of road when there are traffic restrictions on it.

“Obviously when there are emergency works required, these can cause disruption.

“In this case however, it does seem that the work could have been completed more efficiently.”

Mr Holt went on to suggest a “small compensation contribution” be made to Foulridge Parish Council, to help them with a Sustainability project.

And in a letter seen by the Colne Times, United Utilities’ case manager Michael Skilky apologised for “any inconvenience caused” and agreed that work “was not carried out to the high standards we strive for across our network”.

As well as apologising for the delays caused while they were carrying out repair works, United Utilities also sent network team leader Tom Hayes to personally apologise to Mr Holt.

In his letter, Mr Skilky added: “I appreciate the impact that this work has had for local residents and commuters using this area to travel through each day.”

And talking to the Colne Times, a spokesman for United Utilities said: “We’re sorry to our customers who had their daily routine impacted due to our work.

“As a gesture of goodwill we will be making a small donation to the parish council to support any community projects they may have up and coming in the near future.”

The amount being donated by United Utilities to Foulridge Parish Council has yet to be confirmed.