Villagers slam delays over road repairs

10:08am Friday 4th January 2013

By Mark Stead and Mike Laycock

RESIDENTS and businesses in villages near York have blasted the time it is taking to repair a road which was devastated by flooding in September.

They say the continued closure of the road between Linton-on-Ouse and Newton-on-Ouse is causing huge inconvenience, forcing motorists to take long diversions daily to get to work and school, and some local businesses have lost important trade.

Half the road collapsed in September after the nearby River Ouse burst its banks and poured into a culvert, taking some of the road with it. North Yorkshire County Council originally hoped to complete repairs by Christmas, but the road was affected by further flooding in November.

Linton-on-Ouse resident Paul Watson said he was now travelling about 250 miles a week to take his two children to and from school in Shipton-by-Beningbrough, with both his mileage and journey times more than trebling.

“The frustration people living around here feel is because we can’t believe how long it is taking to carry out repairs which, in the wider scheme of things, are relatively small in their scope,” he said.

“It has meant journey times and distances increasing, and although there is a diversion route signposted, the road is single track and its edges are being destroyed, with potholes appearing all along it.”

A county council spokeswoman said the damage to the road was “significant” and substantial construction work had begun in October, after the original flood damage, to rebuild the route.

“Good progress was made, but the base materials put down were seriously damaged in the November flooding and had to be replaced, which delayed the construction works considerably,” she said. “Continual rain through December has also hindered the progress of the works.”

The authority said that, before the Christmas and New Year holiday period, drainage work – which is still ongoing – had been carried along with work on protecting the layers underneath the road surface. Work on the rest of the repair programme restarted on Wednesday.

“The county council understands the inconvenience of the road closure and is making every effort to get the work completed as quickly and as safely as possible, weather permitting,” said the spokeswoman. “Regular updates are provided to the local community through the parish council and local councillors, and the council is also making every effort to maintain repairs on the diversion route.”

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