Residents call for investigation of Skipton Road over 'nightmare' cracks

Residents on a busy Harrogate route have called for an investigation of the road they live on after cracks have continually reappeared on the walls inside their homes.

Thursday, 25th May 2017, 11:27 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:51 pm
Stephen Johnson has called on the County Council to investigate Skipton Road where he lives. Picture: Adrian Murray

Stephen Johnson moved into his home on Skipton Road in March 2016.

Having noticed a large crack in one of the interior walls, he paid for a survey on the property to investigate any structural issues.

He said: “There’s no subsidence, nothing, there’s no wall-tie failure or anything.

The cracks are centimetres wide in places and go all around the edges of the ceilings and walls in Mr Johnson's and Mrs Richardson's homes. Picture: Adrian Murray

“Their recommendation was that we had to get these galvanised straps and fasten them to the roof plate. I paid nearly £2,500 to have 45 straps put all the way round the house to make sure it was done. All of these have been over-boarded by professional plasters and then low and behold it’s all started cracking.”

A busy 30-40mph road, Mr Johnson believes there is something to do with the road itself or the speed and volume of traffic along it which is causing the cracks to appear.

He said: “When the wagons come past at 5.30am the house shakes, the radiator in our bedroom starts clanging.

The shaking is so violent that Mr Johnson said it wakes his three children up.

The cracks are centimetres wide in places and go all around the edges of the ceilings and walls in Mr Johnson's and Mrs Richardson's homes. Picture: Adrian Murray

But having approached North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) a number of times to investigate the road, Mr Johnson said his requests have been ignored.

He said: “They’re doing up to 50 or 60 mph and the house shakes. I spoke to NYCC about a greater speed restriction on here and they said it’s not deemed necessary.

“I don’t know if it’s caused by the uplift, the draft from wagons when they’re going past but it’s heartbreaking. I’ve got an extension to build on the side but I’m reluctant to do anything.

“When they’re coming down that fast I think it’s either something to do with the road that is making the houses shake or it’s the speed of the wagons with the weight of it. I’m at a loss with it, I’ve been fobbed off that many times.”

The cracks vary from millimetres to centimetres wide but are clearly visible all around the edges of the ceiling and walls in Mr Johnson’s house.

He said: “I’m gutted, I want to make this my family home, we’re trying to get somewhere in life to build a future for our kids and we’re planning on staying here but it’s disappointing.”

Mr Johnson’s neighbour, Jayne Richardson has lived on Skipton Road for four years and has got the same problem.

Mrs Richardson has had to redecorate her bathroom twice as a result of the re-appearing cracks and even put coving across to try and cover them, only to find the walls have cracked underneath.

She said: “You can’t sleep at night, it’s so bad, you’ve got all the traffic from Skipton, York, Leeds, Harrogate and Ripon, it’s like a motorway, you can feel it as soon as a lorry goes past. It’s literally a nightmare.”

But the council said it has not ignored residents and checks the road regularly.

A spokesperson for NYCC said: “NYCC is not ignoring the concerns of residents regarding their properties on Skipton Road. We maintain the public highway for safety purposes and Skipton Road is a key strategic route which is inspected, for the purposes of safety, on a monthly basis.

“In addition to these cyclic safety inspections, highway officers have inspected this particular section of the road each time concerns from residents have been brought to our attention.”