Shailesh Vara hits out at chief executive of Highways England over roadworks response

Fletton Parkway this morning
Fletton Parkway this morning
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The chief executive of Highways England has been slammed by Shailesh Vara over the traffic chaos caused by roadworks in Peterborough.

Following the recent delays in and around Peterborough due to the closure of the slip road on to the A1 (M) southbound at junction 17, North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara wrote to Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England, on Tuesday, June 20 asking what action could be taken to alleviate the problem.

Mr Vara’s letter raised concern about the limited advance warning to motorists about the closure, the absence of engagement with parish councils and local councillors and the lack of thought and planning given to the diversion along the A15; a route with roadworks already taking place.

However, a week later Mr Vara has had no response from Mr O’Sullivan and yesterday afternoon received a standard acknowledgement, which says that further investigations may need to be carried out with ‘a number of departments’ and they hope to come back to Mr Vara within 15 days.

Mr Vara said: “The response from Highways England to the misery of thousands of motorists is appalling.

“While thousands of people continue to suffer it has taken a week for me to receive a standard acknowledgement to my letter to Jim O’Sullivan, the Chief Executive. The acknowledgment states that before a response can be provided they may need to carry out ‘further investigations with a number of departments’. It is clear that Highways England have done little if anything in the last seven days and are simply dragging their feet until the problem goes away when the work finishes this Friday.

“This is not the way for an organisation such as Highways England to operate. Ignoring the huge inconvenience to so many people in this way and burying its head in the sand is simply not acceptable.”

More: Further road closures ahead as part of A1(M) works scheme