Earlier today, SNP Holyrood Candidate Kenneth Gibson, Patricia Gibson MP and all four North Coast councillors participated, with North Ayrshire Council officers, in a heated two-hour meeting with Scottish Water to avert the closure of the A78 at the junction of Greenock Road and Routenburn Road for “around two weeks”.
The closure is to repair a leaking sewage pipe. It will commence at 9.30am on Tuesday 13 April.
The meeting followed one on Friday at which appeals were made for Scottish Water to look at providing solutions that would allow traffic to move north and south. No potential such solutions were agreed by Scottish Water.
From carers to bin lorries to children and teachers travelling to school to doctors visiting patients to folk just going to their work, a huge number of lives will be disrupted. A lengthy detour will be necessary for even modest journeys.
Across the political divide, all elected representatives were highly critical of the closure being imposed so quickly, without full consideration of the impact and each sought a delay, rejected by Scottish Water.
Kenneth Gibson said:
“This repair is essential. However, there has been a chronic lack of forward planning and no risk analysis which would consider the needs of everyone who has to travel along the A78.
“Astonishingly, until I raised it Scottish Water admitted to having no plans to have a ‘phone number that approaching emergency vehicles could call in advance, in order for work to halt and allowing them to swiftly pass through the road workings.
“A few more days to think this through and provide solutions that would minimise disruption to the community would help. However, Scottish Water is determined to press ahead.”
North Coast SNP Councillor Alan Hill added:
"Scottish Water has known about the leak from this pipe for 10 days so why the sudden rush to close the road?
“We need a delay of a few days to consider other options than complete closure."
Kenneth, Alan and each of the elected representatives will continue to press for mitigation of the closure to allow traffic to flow.