COUNCILLORS say road repairs are taking place in the Bishop’s Castle area without enough notice.

Nigel Hartin, Shropshire councillor for Clun, said: “An increasing number of road repairs are occurring at the ‘drop of a hat’ giving little of no warning to communities that road disruption is going to take place.

“I only learned about some significant road work due on the B4367 near Bucknell second hand.

“It’s just not acceptable, given the disruption such work usually causes, that parish councils, local representatives and residents are not told about what is going to happen.”

In cllr Heather Kidd’s ward, the contractor started work without a permit in place.

She said: “They simply closed the B4386 one morning without warning diverting traffic down narrow lanes. It was chaos. When I rang the council it was news to them that this was happening.

“Not only were HGVs diverted through small hamlets such as Aston Rogers but the operator of the scheduled bus service wasn’t told either.”

Cllr Ruth Houghton of Bishop’s Castle added: “We are increasingly experiencing road closures with little or no notice and more worryingly road closures by contractors without the knowledge and permission of Shropshire Council.

“These make life difficult for local residents who are unable to plan alternative routes and at this time of year cause big problems for farmers and our agricultural industry working hard to complete the harvest.

“It is of course good news that at long last some attention is being paid to some of our rural roads which have been neglected for far too long, but we do need to be kept up to date with road closures and planned works”

All three councillors have put in complaints into Shropshire Council about this mode of working.

In response, Steve Davenport, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Shropshire Council officers are currently working with our contractor Kier to address some advance communication issues which have arisen over the past couple of months.

“This is in order to ensure, as far as practical, that reasonable advance notification of necessary works is given to all interested stakeholders, including residents, affected businesses and transport operators.

“The past few months have seen an unprecedented investment and workload put into ensuring the county’s road network is safe and fit for purpose.

“The vast majority of these works have been to address a build-up of safety defects which, by their nature, require a more reactive response than planned works and hence a shorter, and in some cases no, lead-in time is available to ensure all stakeholders are adequately informed in advance.

“Since March 23 – the start of lockdown - to date, we have completed a £10m surface dressing programme and have repaired over 15,000 highway defects.

“This scale of fast-moving reactive work, often involving emergency road closures due to limited road width has presented challenges.

“We are reviewing the consultation and communication processes to see how this can be improved in future.”