PEOPLE’S lives are being put at risk by large vehicles using a narrow village road as a rat run to escape roadworks, it is claimed.

Villager Martin Brooks says the closure of Higher Road, in Woolavington, from Crockers Hill to Chertsey Close is causing chaos because of poor warning signs about the narrowness of the road, and the parish council has added its concerns.

The route along Lower Road and Crockers Hill is only wide enough for one vehicle, but since the closure it has had to deal with cars in both directions.

There are fears there could be an accident as many people do not slow down because they don’t know how treacherous the road is, the parish council says.

Mr Brooks and the parish council have made repeated efforts to speak to County Hall and claim they have been ignored for nearly a week.

The closure, put in place last Monday, is to create traffic calming for a doctor’s surgery and nearby residential development.

Mr Brooks said: “I guess this is how things will be from now on once people start using Lower Road and Crockers Hill as a way to bypass the traffic calming.

“I can foresee it’s only a matter of time until a large vehicle finds itself stuck or a pedestrian or child playing, or horse rider, is injured by the increased traffic flow.”

Richard Young, parish council clerk, said: “Mr Brooks and the parish council have the same concerns that this route is being used as a rat run and children or someone else could get seriously hurt.

“We tried to sort it out before the roadworks started but couldn’t get any feedback from County Hall.

“Now a sign has gone up saying the route isn’t suitable as an alternative route to the roadworks, but we aren’t sure how effective it has been.

“This could all have been avoided if someone listened to us last week.”

Sue and Julian Young said: “Lower Road is a small, unpaved road entirely unsuitable for a large amount of traffic. Signs stating that the road isn’t suitable for diverted traffic are, we feel, poorly placed and entirely ignored.

“We’d question why the closure isn’t before the turning left into Crockers Hill, thus preventing access to Lower Road. It seems to us an accident is waiting to happen.”

A county council spokesman said: “We work closely with developers to ensure signage is adequate and have taken steps to put in additional signs informing drivers that these routes are unsuitable for diverted traffic.”