‘It’s all got too much’

Honiton motorists tire of roadworks.

WEARY Honiton residents say they have had enough of roadworks around the town - although they appreciate the work is necessary to substantially upgrade the town’s mains water supply.

There was gridlock around the town’s one-way system as work reached High Street, causing some motorists to be stuck in queues in Dowell Street for up to 55 minutes.

And it’s not just shoppers who have been affected.

Vikki Sparks, of Sparky’s Taxis, told the Midweek Herald: “It’s an absolute nightmare!

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“Trying to run a transport business is hard enough in this economic climate but, with the traffic gridlock, it’s near on impossible. From Lace Walk car park to Badger Close took 55 minutes - a seven minute journey on a market day, normally.”

James Sturley said: “It took me 25 minutes to get from the sports centre to Hale Lane on Friday. I was so angry, it spoilt my whole weekend.”

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Jeremy Rice cracked on with his housework and stored water on Saturday after being advised the supply would be off on Sunday morning - only to find there was no interruption to the service at all.

South West Water says it hopes work to upgrade Honiton’s mains water supply will conclude in High Street by the end of next week.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused while we carry out improvements which are going to benefit Honiton’s water supply in future years.”

Work in the town centre started on January 28 and will take between two and three weeks to complete.

It is all part of a �3.5million investment scheme to renew old water mains.

Graham Murphy, South West Water’s director of engineering, said: “Relining and replacing the water mains in Honiton will help ensure everyone gets a sparkling glass of refreshing water when they turn on the taps, cutting down incidents of discolouration and enabling us to reduce chlorine levels. The work will also prolong the life of the mains.”

Honiton residents say they appreciate South West Water’s investment in Honiton, but...

“The traffic lights are horrendous,” said Mandy Bright.

“I am a home carer for the elderly, so being stuck at lights for nearly 30 minutes is not great.”

Adrian Wilson said: “It is a mess. I’ve been sat there (at the traffic lights) several times for long periods when normally it’s only minutes.”

Dowell Street resident Gary Osborne said: “Yes, it is a pain - but the work has to be done.

“The water system is awful.

“Pipes burst three times on Sunday and we had no water for over 12 hours.

“Let’s hope it’s done soon.”

Becky and Paul Phillips said: “It is so infuriating. Over the last few months it’s been bedlam trying to get in and around Honiton. It can’t be very good for business.”

Dowell Street resident Valerie Sheen said: “Yes, it is hard work at present - getting in and out of Honiton. I also find this an inconvenience.

“It has made me far more aware of the HGVs that are passing in and out of the town, rather than using the correct routes via the M5.

“I must say that I have found the contractors more than helpful with information and with very courteous manners towards the residents.”

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