HEREFORDSHIRE Council has apologised to residents after late notice of road closures led to chaos for commuters and bus users.

Peterchurch residents say the closure of the B4348, the road that connects with Dorstone, caught many of them completely by surprise.

The county council admits notice of the road works which started on August 5 was sent during the week prior to the works and not a fortnight before which is what they usually do.

Villager Keith Taylor said many were affected by the closures and he understands that two residents have lost their jobs because they could not get to work in time.

“The closure of B4348 through Peterchurch and Dorstone between August 5 and 19 shows the complete lack of Balfour Beatty consideration of the impact on residents and elderly in particular,” he said.

“Contact with customer services by phone is treated with disdain; questions are answered with ‘it’s not our responsibility as your parish council knew and approved the works’.

“The councils were aware that works would be scheduled, but not when and where until the residents knew.

“This was by letter which was received less than seven days before the event and each parish was treated separately.

“So neither knew the closure would affect both parishes over a two week period with extensive diversions to get to Hay and Hereford.

“Buses would route from Hay via Hardwicke to Clehonger.

“This completely bypassed the B4348 and deprived the elderly and non-drivers of Dorstone, Peterchurch and Vowchurch of any public transport for two weeks.

“It has caused great concern to all residents, but Balfour Beatty don’t care.”

A council spokesman said there was a delay in site measurement and finalisation of information for the letters.

“Our signage contractor was also late putting out road signage information, for which we apologise,” he said.

“Bus companies, emergency services and other partners were given more notice than the public in order to plan and prepare, and we did agree to facilitate access for buses before 9am and 5pm.”

The council says they moved the works programme to the school holidays to minimise local impact.