Concerns are being raised over plans to close a busy road in Northam for seven weeks.

Heywood Road and the southbound footpath will be closed this month. Picture: Sarah HowellsHeywood Road and the southbound footpath will be closed this month. Picture: Sarah Howells

The southbound lane of Heywood Road is set to be shut for roadworks from Monday (January 21) until February 25.

The footpath and cycle path will be closed until March 11.

During this time, the Bideford-bound lane and footpath will be closed between the Limers Lane and Bideford Bypass and a diversion will be in place via Bay View Road and the A39.

The works are being conducted by South West Water and involve laying 102 metres of water mains in preparation for improvements to the Heywood roundabout.

Maurice Kendall, who uses the road regularly, contacted the Gazette to raise concerns over the traffic issues this could cause.

“People will be avoiding it by going down the single-track road at Lenwood; it’s going to be absolute chaos,” he said.

“I have to use Chope Road to get out from where I live and it’s just going to be chock-a-block.

“I honestly don’t think people know about this closure and I think they should do.”

A spokesman for South West Water owners Pennon said: “In preparation for Devon County Council’s (DCC) planned improvements to the A39, we will be relocating the water main in the A386, near Heywood roundabout in the new year.

“To ensure the work can be safely carried out, the southbound lanes between Limers Lane and the A39 Bideford bypass will be closed from January 21, until February 25, and an approved diversion will be in place.

“The footpath and cycleway in this area will also be closed, with a short diversion for pedestrians and cyclists, from the start date until 11 March 2019.”

Councillor David Hurley, deputy leader for Torridge District Council, said he and council leader Jane Whittaker would be pushing DCC to seek an alternative.

He said: “When they put traffic lights up for the bridge works it worked much better than the diversion they originally proposed.

“We’re trying to get DCC to reconsider their plans and get something more acceptable for people which won’t cause huge queues, because this current idea is going to be really horrendous.”