Anger as road resurfacers fill drains with grit

A drain in High Street, Ropsley, filled and covered with gravel. Photo: Derek Hindley
A drain in High Street, Ropsley, filled and covered with gravel. Photo: Derek Hindley
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A villager was shocked to watch as contractors tasked with resurfacing a road failed to cover drains and instead allowed in significant amounts of gravel.

The local authorty’s highways department has since demanded the contractors return and remedy the problem.

Potholes have formed along the road leading from the A52 to Ropsley. Photo: Derek Hindley

Potholes have formed along the road leading from the A52 to Ropsley. Photo: Derek Hindley

Ropsley resident Derek Hindley, 77, lives in High Street, and watched the work unfold outside his home.

He said: “I observed the dressing, spraying first with bitumen, that was made directly over the drain grids, each separated from the next by some 100 yards on each side of the High Street; no protection covers were arranged in advance.

“Afterwards, the road was swept, again over the now dressed drain grids. Most were now visible, but obviously gravel had entered the drains. Some were completely covered and invisible.

“Since the work we have had only moderate rain showers, but if heavy and prolonged showers occur the water will simply run down the High Street without being handled properly by the drains, until it reaches the bottom.

“I do not know if there is a serious risk of flooding, but in any case the work was poorly carried out by subcontractors, without adequate supervision by the council.”

Mr Hindley’s concerns were heightened when he found that the stretch of road connecting the vilage to the A52 had been re-surfaced but no action taken to fill in ‘dangerous’ potholes along the roadside.

He said: “This section of the road, 1.5 miles long, is potentially lethal at night.

“Driving back around 9pm one evening in January, following another vehicle which guided my position, I was barely able to avoid the deep potholes, that if hit at 40-50 mph could cause any vehicle to swerve. An approaching vehicle, possibly unsighted by the oncoming headlights, veered slightly in the centre of the road. There was a loud bang as its wing mirror hit mine at a combined speed approaching 100mph. It did not stop. My damage was limited to replacement of the mirror, but another foot and I would be dead.

“The road is a potential death trap.”

Nigel Simons, network and development manager at Lincolnshire County Council, told the Journal contractors would be sent back to the village to clear the drains of gravel. He said: “Unfortunately, it appears that the contractors have not met the standards we would expect. So we have asked them to return and clean off chippings from a gulley, remove the cover from another, and clean the gullies out.”

Responding to concerns over the potholes left unfilled, he said: “The road has been surface dressed correctly. In the photo you can see an area of the verge that has eroded over time, but as this is not on the road itself, it shouldn’t pose a risk to motorists.”