Yorkshire Water to close Birchcliffe Road

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Yorkshire Water has contacted the Hebden Bridge Web to tell us about next phase of a 500,000 environmental improvement scheme which they say should have a significant impact on water quality in the River Hebden in the Calder Valley.

Special screens, designed to filter debris from water flowing into the river during storm conditions, are to be installed in the sewer overflow at the bottom of Birchcliffe Road in Hebden Bridge. Meanwhile, improvement work will also be carried out on sewer pipes in the area.

The project was originally pencilled in for January this year but, during a customer forum held before the scheme got underway, parents with children at the nearby Stubbings Infant School indicated they felt disruption would be minimised if it was postponed until the summer holidays.

As a result the start date was put back to Monday, July 19, when the school will be closed. The project is expected to take the rest of the summer to complete.

Residents were worried closing Birchcliffe Road would mean problems for drivers parking and turning in the narrow street and Yorkshire Water has investigated possible alternatives. However, none have proved viable and, regrettably, the road will have to shut, although the company has emphasised it will strive to keep disruption to a minimum. A diversion route will be signposted.

"We agreed to postpone the scheme earlier this year after parents said they were worried closing Birchcliffe Road would mean they would have to park and then walk their children up the steep, narrow road to Stubbing School or follow a lengthy diversion," said Yorkshire Water project manager Dominic Cunney.

"Unfortunately, we cannot avoid closing the road but at least waiting until summer will mean the school is taken out of the equation while anyone who has to follow the diversion should be able to do so in daylight and when there is no chance of ice and snow making the journey more difficult."

Contractors from Mowlem Johnston will be on site between 7.30am and 5.30pm from Monday to Friday, with some work possible on occasional Saturdays. Local water supplies and sewerage services should not be affected by the scheme and neither the contractors nor Yorkshire Water staff should need access to properties.

Residents are urged to check the identities of strangers calling at their doors claiming to represent Yorkshire Water and, if they are in any doubt, to refuse them entry and alert the police.

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