Weston Crematorium expansion work criticised for causing funeral disturbances

Weston-super-Mare's Crematorium.

Weston-super-Mare's Crematorium. - Credit: Archant

Traffic delays and disruptions to funeral services have marred the multi-million pound expansion of Weston Crematorium.

Work to extend the burial grounds and memorial gardens in Worle began on November 26 and are due to last 36 weeks.

A five-acre extension to the cemetery, in Ebdon Road, is being delivered by Dignity, which operates the site on behalf of North Somerset Council, and will cost £2.5million.

MORE: Crematorium expansion work costing £2.5m set to begin.

But a formal complaint has been lodged against the authority as issues have arisen from the access at the main entrance, which sees as many as 40 large vehicles making trips along the road each day between 9.30am-2.45pm.

Deliveries have instead been arriving as early as 8am, before the crematorium gates open and during morning rush hour traffic which has caused traffic jams and travel issues on Ebdon Road, while works have not been suspended during funeral services.

Homeowners in Lyefield Road want assurances that access into and out of the site will not become a problem during phase two of the project, when the site entrance switches to Lyefield.

At a North Worle Forum meeting on December 12, people complained of a lack of consultation prior to the works starting and want workers to keep the number of trips down to a minimum.

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A working group will be formed, made up of council officers, Dignity and resident representatives and will meet this month.

Cllr Denise Hunt said: “We’re calling on the council, Dignity and contractors to be sensitive to people’s needs while carrying out the works, as this is still a working cemetery.

“Communication with residents affected by the development needs to significantly improve and the council needs to be listening and promptly responding to any issues or concerns raised, so any disruption is minimised.”

A council spokesman said: “Vehicle restrictions will come into play in phase two of the project when workers start to use Lyefield Road and a temporary traffic regulation order will be in place from February.

“We accept this is not ideal for residents or funeral goers but this is essential work which needs to be done to ensure there is enough burial spaces in Weston and Worle for the next 50 years.”