Horse fair delays set to worsen with sewer works

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Severe traffic warnings are back in place as the weekend horse fair coincides with a diversion from the Coventry Road sewer works closure.

The busy road was closed off as a through-route out of Kenilworth on Monday while a new sewer is installed.

Residents should try and avoid the roads to and from Thickthorn

Peter Cutts

There are ways around the closure to reach Coventry, but the majority of non-local traffic is expected to follow the official diversion through the town centre and onto the bypass - a route which will lead traffic past Thickthorn and into any horse fair congestion.

Traffic management teams will be in place around Leamington Road and the Thickthorn roundabout to help manage the second of three annual horse fairs on Saturday and Sunday.

And parking and stopping along the layby or in parts of Bullimore Grove is prohibited.

But officials and residents are warning of expected disruption, delays and potential traffic chaos as hundreds flock to the Kenilworth site.

Peter Cutts, safer communities manager at Warwick District Council, is even advising people to completely avoid using roads to and from Thickthorn for the weekend.

He said: “Residents and visitors to Kenilworth are advised that roads are expected to be exceptionally busy in the area on Sunday due to the horse fair taking place in Kenilworth.

“Although the July event is usually quieter, the sewerage works are expected to create significant delays.

“A traffic-management plan will be in place but residents should try and avoid the roads to and from Thickthorn if at all possible.”

The 10-week closure of one of Kenilworth’s busiest roads is now in place after persistent delays since January.

A 250-metre stretch of Coventry Road, Crackley will not reopen until the end of September while Severn Trent Water builds a new sewer.

Company spokesperson, Wayne Ellis apologised for disruption but described the £300,000 of work as vital to prevent flooding into houses.

He said: “The sewers in the area are no longer able to cope during heavy rainfall, and, in the past when we’ve had a lot of rain, sewage has backed up through pipes and flooded homes and gardens.

“This is why it’s so important to replace the sewers. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the work, there will be some impact on traffic.”

The works were set back in January to avoid roadworks around the University of Warwick and again last month due to road improvements at the Whitley Jaguar Land Rover site - both of which caused extensive delays on the roads at peak times.

A planned diversion around the Crackley Crescent closure will take traffic on to the A46 and the Stonebridge Highway to join the other end of work at Crackley Crescent.

There are diversions in place for Stagecoach Midland Red buses on Dalehouse Lane and Stoneleigh Road to Gibbet Hill.

National Express Coventry will use Common Lane as part of its bus diversion route.