Freedom of information response

A13 Widening: traffic Impact on Horndon on the Hill during A13 closures

Publication date: 
Monday 21 October 2019
Request: 

1. traffic count information over A13 closure 31 Aug / 1 Sep 2019 via loops installed on Orsett Road and North Hill (and any other locations in Horndon or allied to the purpose of this count).

2. traffic count information in same locations for period OUTSIDE of A13 closure 31 Aug / 1 Sep 2019, and comparative data from one year either side when collected.

3. speed data from the speed indicator device located on Orsett Road Horndon on the Hill for the period since its installation and including specifically highlighting 31 Aug / 1 Sep 2019.

4. evidence of decision making over A13 closure 31 Aug / 1 Sep and mitigation taken by Thurrock Council Officers to prevent congestion and health impact on Horndon on the Hill, PRIOR to the closure.

5. evidence of decision making in reactive works applied to management of traffic FOLLOWING weekend of A13 closure 31 Aug / 1 Sep and mitigation taken by Thurrock Council Officers to prevent congestion and health impact on Horndon on the Hill.

6. evidence specifically of the role of Thurrock Council Network Management / Traffic Director, in discharging duties under Traffic Management Act 2004, in relation to points 4 and 5.

7. evidence of how escalation of impact to residents in Horndon on the Hill was managed by Thurrock Council over weekend of 30 Aug / 1 Sep, by ALL Officers including Chief Executive Officer.

Response: 

1. Please find attached document (Appendix A) traffic count data recorded at Orsett Road and North Hill, Horndon on the Hill during the periods 8 to 15 July 2019 and 28 August to 3 September 2019.

2. See answer 1 above. Regarding North Hill, the July survey and the August/September survey were both undertaken at the same location. Regarding the Orsett Road, the August/September survey was undertaken south west of the July survey. This explains why the reports show Northbound/Southbound directions rather than the original Eastbound/Westbound.

3. Please find attached document (Appendix B) speed data recorded at Orsett Road, Horndon on the Hill, during the periods 8 to 15 July 2019 and 28 August to 3 September 2019.  

4. Officers commissioned before and during traffic counts at Horndon on the Hill to assess the impact of  an A13 weekend closure and assess the need for mitigations in the village. The weekend closure for the demolition of Saffron Gardens was the subject of an extensive communications campaign, encouraging people making cross-county journeys to avoid the A13 and use suitable alternatives such as the A127, A130 and M25. Unfortunately, some people chose to self-divert through Horndon on the Hill.

5. Following the weekend closure of 30 August to 2 September officers held a debrief meeting and developed an action plan that  includes the following mitigations at Horndon on the Hill:

Variable message sign at the junction of the A128 with Orsett Road  

Variable message sign at the junction of the B1007 with North Hill

Additional ‘7.5T weight limit’ signs

‘Road unsuitable as A13 diversion’ signs

A temporary one-way system via Gordon Road and Victoria Road

A robust closure of Orsett Road (between High Road and Francis Close) and associated diversion

A ‘Businesses open as usual’ at the junction of High Road with Hillcrest Road

6. The Assistant Director and Strategic Lead responsible for discharging the Network Management Duty were part of the incident response team and participated in the debrief meeting.

7. The congestion and associated impacts at Horndon on the Hill were managed in accordance with the Council’s Emergency Plan. Several measures were activated to mitigate the impact as follows:

Updated communications via social media to advise residents of the severe congestion on the road network

A road closure at the junction of Orsett Road/ High Road junction and diversion along Gordon Road used as an alternative to enable traffic to access the B1007 more easily

Ward Members were updated on the measures put in place via phone call from the Communications Team and/or text message

Regular updating of media messages advising residents of the diversions

Regular updates between the incident response team

Close monitoring of traffic queues via Roadworks.org and Google Maps

Request reference:
FOI 9443