HDC promises no more ring road gridlock

THIS afternoon s traffic chaos on Huntingdon ring road should not be repeated next week, the district council promised today. Traffic ground to a standstill because of a lane closure imposed for safety reasons during demolition of the south-eastern end of

THIS afternoon's traffic chaos on Huntingdon ring road should not be repeated next week, the district council promised today.

Traffic ground to a standstill because of a lane closure imposed for safety reasons during demolition of the south-eastern end of the council's Pathfinder House headquarters beside Castle Moat Road.

As a result, HDC has agreed changes to the traffic management arrangements that should avoid a repetition next week. And traffic disruption should be finished by next weekend.

Work will start later in the morning - at 10am instead of 9am, as originally planned, and cleared by 4pm - and the councils will use radio-monitored stop-go boards instead of traffic signals to prevent extensive tailbacks.

But there will be short periods when all traffic will be halted, if there is a momentary risk of masonry from the 1970s spec-built office block falling into the road, said project director Richard Preston this afternoon.

Work on the site was abandoned and the road re-opened completely to relieve the congestion this afternoon. Demolition at the Castle Moat Road end of the site should be completed by midweek, and there will be some lane narrowing next week in St Mary's Street during demolition of the opposite end, he added.

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All work involving traffic restrictions should be finished by next Friday, March 13.

Razing of the other part of the building - now replaced and fully occupied - caused serious disruption in the run-up to Christmas 2007, but HDC's contractors Carillion have hired in a bigger and better machine to do the job more quickly this time, Mr Preston said.

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