Angry Torbay residents confront Network Rail bosses over road closure in heated street meeting

Residents confronted Network Rail bosses at a heated meeting. Credit: ITV News

Angry residents in Torbay have confronted Network Rail officials to demand answers about a road closure which they say is causing traffic chaos and making the streets unsafe.

Last week it was revealed work to replace a railway bridge between Torquay and Paignton will take two months longer than expected.

Network Rail has apologised and promised to look into options to make life easier for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Resident June Pierce said: "We were told it was a nine-week project. We then had a four-week extension. Now it's been delayed until May 23.

"Frankly we've had enough."

June Pierce says locals have 'had enough'. Credit: ITV News

One of the biggest issues is that while part of Torbay Road is closed along the seafront, traffic is being diverted through what are normally quiet, narrow back roads.

The problems all stem from a railway bridge. Built in 1906, it is in such a poor state that it needs to be completely dismantled and replaced. But problems with internet cables, and difficulty lifting heavy beams into place, have set the project back.

At times the anger in the area is threatening to spill over.

Drivers are being diverted through a quiet residential area. Credit: ITV News

Matthew Thompson, Network Rail's communications manager, said: "Unfortunately car users have been abusing residents, stopping them from exiting their driveways and their homes, so I can see their frustration.

"It is understandable, and with the extension we do need to do something. Hopefully, working with Highways, we will be able to do that in the coming weeks."

The local MP, Kevin Foster, says the delay is testing everyone's patience.

"The community has been very tolerant," he said. "But now we're seeing major inconvenience, residents facing another two months of work. They need to get on, get it finished and re-open the road."