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Drivers blame council for roadwork dithering'

PUBLISHED: 15:21 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:18 25 August 2010

A DRIVERS association has slammed engineering works dogging a town centre and told the council to keep a tighter leash on companies doing major projects. Brian McDowell, spokesman for Bexley branch of the Association of British Drivers, blasted the coun

A DRIVERS' association has slammed engineering works dogging a town centre and told the council to keep a tighter leash on companies doing major projects.

Brian McDowell, spokesman for Bexley branch of the Association of British Drivers, blasted the council for FM Conway's "dithering" over path works on Station Road, Sidcup.

Sidcup's arterial route from the High Street has been closed to north-bound traffic since April.

It was set to be closed until October to allow Scotia to perform major gas works, but motorists asked the Times why the road was repeatedly devoid of workmen for days on end.

FM Conway was handed the baton, installing new paths on the same road but yet again, workmen have disappeared while buses and motorists queue, filtering past signs saying 'businesses open as usual'.

Mr McDowell said: "This situation just isn't good enough. Councils have got to start clamping down on utilities and engineering firms engaged in projects that have a major impact on communities.

"They need to be on their backs questioning why work is not taking place, irrespective of whether they are on schedule or not. The whole point is that they could be done faster.

"In an area as important and busy as the high street the job should be done as quickly as it is feasible. It's a similar situation to miles of bollards on the motorways with not a worker in site."

Councillor for transport at Bexley council, Peter Craske, said: "The work to resurface Station Road and the pavement has been planned deliberately to ensure they are done in co-ordination with the completion of the gas works.

"Normally organisations like the Association of British Drivers criticise councils for failing to co-ordinate their works with other utility companies.

"In this case, the whole project has been co-ordinated properly yet the ABD now says the council is incompetent for doing that.

"This is a road we have wanted to improve for some time but it would have been absurd to do our work knowing there would be major gas works being carried out."

A FM Conway spokesperson said workers completed the number of hours they could according to the contract made with the council.

Work was due to be completed yesterday.

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