POOR STATE: The cattle grid on the lane from Sleightholme to Gilmonby.
POOR STATE: The cattle grid on the lane from Sleightholme to Gilmonby.

A CONSCIENTIOUS visitor to the dale says he is incensed a damaged cattle grid he reported to Durham County Council earlier in the year has not been fully repaired and could cause an accident.

Peter White, 64, from Sunderland, a regular visitor to Teesdale, said he sent a detailed letter with photographs to the council in February about the state of the cattle grid, which is located on the single track lane from Gilmonby to Sleightholme Farm.

Mr White said: “The cattle grid had a broken rail and the grid was buckled in some places below the level of the road.

“Either side of the grid the road had collapsed raising the centre of the road. I wasn’t doing any kind of speed, but the floor pan of my car scrapped along the humps.

“It was a danger so I wrote to them. But I never heard anything back.”

And when he returned to the dale last month he was incensed to find only a rudimentary repair had been carried out to the cattle grid, which he said “was in much worse condition” than before.

He said: “They seemed to have welded a section where the bar was broken, half a job really. The other side is now so sunken and the rails are not braced they are lying on their side. My car still grounds on the road.”

Old Well

In his initial letter, Mr White pointed out the council has a legal responsibility to maintain the road and cattle grid and could be liable for compensation claims if vehicles are damaged on the grid.

He added: “I’ve got a £250 road tax bill to pay next week so this is just rubbing salt in the wounds.”

Brian Buckley, Durham County Council’s strategic highways manager, said: “After receiving a report of damage in February we sent out a team to inspect the cattle grid.

“We found there was damage to it and repairs were carried out making the grid safe to use.

“We have plans to completely replace it in the coming weeks.

“In the meanwhile regular inspections are being made to ensure the grid remains safe until such time the work is complete.”