A43 closure 'chaos' as traffic uses village for diversion route to and from Corby
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The road has been shut to all traffic due to diesel leaking from a lorry into the road surface making it dangerous.
But as North Northants Council highways workers staff the road block, many motorists have been unable to find the official diversion route.
Builders working in Bulwick resorted to placing cones across one village road to direct traffic away from the closure to avert ‘chaos’.
Simon Stead, from Northampton builders JARS Construction, said: “It’s been absolute chaos – a shambles. I spent the whole of yesterday redirecting traffic. We’ve had artics coming down then turning in the road. The traffic backing up, doing three-point turns.”
The diverted traffic started building up in the narrow village lanes after a lorry fire on the A43 between the first Blatherwycke turn on the way to Stamford.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a vehicle on fire on the A43 near Blatherwycke just before 10am yesterday (August 21).
“On arrival firefighters found a HGV carrying a large amount of wheat in a layby with the lorry cab on fire, which had spread to the grass bank and was in danger of spreading to the vehicle’s trailer.
“The Fire Service closed the road and used hose reel jets and an ultra-high pressure lance to try and contain the blaze.
“The fire was extinguished by 11am, but there was a large amount of engine oil, hydraulic oil and diesel that had spilt onto the road.
“Crews continued to monitor temperatures of the vehicle throughout the day and left the scene at 3pm in the hands of North Northamptonshire Highways for road closure and clean up.”
It is believed that the road will not open again until 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday, August 23) to allow for resurfacing of the damaged road.
Bulwick resident Tony Clayton said: “It’s terrible. They ought to have diverted the traffic at Weldon. It’s been chaos. Last night it was absolute chaos. There’s been lorries doing three-point turns but what can you do?”
Some frustrated drivers trying to get to Stamford told this newspaper their satnav didn’t show the road closure. Heavy goods vehicle drivers had to enlist the help of passers-by to act as banksmen to ensure safe reversing around the tight corners. Others were left retracing their route due to weight restrictions on the country lanes and bridges.
Signs showing road closures have been placed on the A43 near Weldon but at least one yellow diversion sign seen by this newspaper is not visible to drivers as it has fallen over. The road closed sign have a black rectangle partially obscuring wording increasing confusion.
A spokesman for North Northants Council said: “We have a fully signed and compliant closure and diversion route in place. The diversion route is A47 Duddington to Uppingham and A6003 to Corby.
“There is extensive resurfacing works required which will commence tomorrow morning and should be completed by 3pm. Once the new surface course has cured we then need to install new road studs (cats eyes) and road markings to complete to work.
"We envisage the road will be open approximately at 7pm.