Council criticised over closed road

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A FURIOUS farmer says it will “cost thousands” to repair a partially collapsed country road, which he claims East Riding Council had ignored despite repeat warnings.

A culvert running underneath the road at Everingham caved in last Thursday and left a huge hole in the road, which has since been closed.

However, nearby resident George Cooper says it could have been easily avoided had work been carried out when he first asked for it back in November.

He first contacted the highways department at County Hall and left a message to say that the culvert underneath the road had become blocked by leaves and twigs, and that workmen should come out to clear it. Nobody returned his call.

Frustrated, he then left several more messages and someone was eventually tasked to look at the problem, but it was left untouched after the workmen said they could not find the culvert.

Following more concerned phone calls, Mr Cooper said the road began to sag towards the end of January, before eventually collapsing last week.

He said: “It was half-blocked in November, all it would have taken is someone to come along and clear it with a pole and there would have been no problem.

“But this will cost thousands, when it could have been sorted at the beginning with a couple of hundred quid at the most.

“Because the culvert became blocked, there’s been that much pressure built up that the water has gone under the road and dissolved all the brick work.

“The council did not bother to do the job which would have taken them a few minutes.

“Somebody should be held accountable for this because it will cost the taxpayers. They were given the warning and they did nothing until it collapsed.”

Working as a farmer, Mr Cooper lives close by and says he is partly responsible for the dyke which runs under the road, but he says he will not foot the bill to clear the waterway from the debris caused by the collapsed culvert.

He is also angry that the closed road is now inconveniencing everyone who lives in the Everingham area, as well as Seaton Ross, Bielby and other villages.

Workmen have been on site this week pulling up the road with diggers in a bid to fix the collapsed culvert.

A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “The council received a report late last year that the culvert was partially blocked so a works order was issued to clean it out.

“Due to the severe winter weather, we could not deal with it straight away but the work was carried out in January.

“It was reported back that there were a number of loose bricks in the culvert but it was felt that any remedial work could be held until the better weather in April/May. Unfortunately, events have overtaken us and a section of the culvert has collapsed.

“This is in no way attributable to the fact that cleaning out was delayed by a month - it would have happened anyway.”

However, Mr Cooper refutes these claims.

He added: “They won’t admit that they’re wrong. I was told by someone in highways that they could not do any work on it because they had to wait until the budget was set for next year. It’s ridiculous.”