Questions over three-week road closure in upper dale
RESIDENTS of upper Teesdale were shocked to learn of plans for an emergency road closure only four days before it was due to start.
County councillor Richard Bell discovered the Environment Agency’s plans for a three-week temporary road closure in Harwood, near Langdon Beck, due to start on Tuesday, September 1. Cllr Bell then informed people via social media.
He said: “The council only became aware of this yesterday and me at 8am today.
“Beyond the statement ‘essential flood resilience works’, which I assume is to protect the beck level monitoring station, I have no idea what exactly the planned works are and why the Environment Agency and their contractors want a closure.
“There is never a good time to close a road and the short notice and the lack of detailed justification and mitigation measures are all very unsatisfactory.
“I have managed to get the start date put back a week and I am still challenging the need for a full road closure.”
The gauging station is on the road from Langdon Beck to Cow Green. A closure will mean people going to Cow Green would need to use the road from Harwood, past Marshes Gill and Honeypot Cottage.
Harwood resident Andrea Collin said she was shocked to learn of the road closure but appreciated work needed to be done.
She added: “It’s so little notice. It’s going to cause a lot of disruption as one of our farms and the majority of our livestock are in fields that are the other side of the closure to our house. I appreciate the work needs doing as there’s only about five feet of grass verge then a straight drop down into the river due to the erosion from the Environment Agency’s ‘rock baskets’. So, it does need doing, but closing the whole road is extreme, and for three weeks.
“It is 450 metres away to our other farm and most of our fields yet we’ll not be able to access them without doing a five-mile diversion.”
Durham County Council confirmed they had received the application as part of Environment Agency works being carried out by ESH Construction on its behalf and permission has been granted. Work is expected to start on Monday, September 7.
The Environment Agency was asked to comment but no one was available due to the bank holiday weekend.