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Just days left to register views on 19-week A371 road closure

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

Essential works to Ansford Bridge on the A371 have been put back until January 2013

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Concerned residents in the Castle Cary area have until Sunday to register their views about a 19-week road closure.

Part of the A371 near Castle Cary railway station will be closed between January and May next year.

Network Rail originally planned to close the road to carry out engineering work on Ansford Bridge this autumn.

However, this was delayed after more than 100 local business owners and residents vented their anger at a public meeting last month over the timing of the closure and the lack of notice issued.

Network Rail is now inviting residents to make their views known by sending an e-mail to a newly-created address before Sunday.

Officials will then take the views forward into two meetings scheduled this month with Castle Cary Town Council, Ansford Parish Council, and local business representatives. However, the general public are not invited to attend these talks.

Castle Cary resident Godfrey Hall slammed the decision to ban the public from the meetings.

He said: “The whole idea was to have a public meeting. Having one behind closed doors is just an easy way out – this closure will concern everyone.

“At the initial meeting it was stated all residents would be informed on any progress – not just left in the dark.”

Lynn Powell, landlord of the Brook House Inn situated on the A371, has offered to take any resident’s views to the meetings.

She said: “I think another public meeting would have been a good idea. The works will have a detrimental effect on residents as well as businesses.”

Janette Cronie, chairwoman of Ansford Parish Council, hopes there will be a third meeting where the public will be invited to attend.

She said: “I think residents should have that opportunity, but as yet, that has not been fixed.”

Robin Basu, Network Rail’s community relations manager for Wales and West, said the public would be informed of any specific project details or measures that are agreed at the two meetings.

Residents can submit their views to ansfordoverbridge@networkrail.co.uk, or by calling 08457 114141. The road closure is planned to last from Monday, January 7, 2013, until Friday, May 31, 2013.

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