‘Repair our potholes’ plea from villagers

From left, Christine Weatherhead, Kate Bailey and Peter Dean inspect potholes on Azerley Lane.   (120206M1)
From left, Christine Weatherhead, Kate Bailey and Peter Dean inspect potholes on Azerley Lane. (120206M1)

FRUSTRATED householders in a village near Ripon are urging the county council to fix dangerous potholes on their road before someone is seriously hurt.

Residents on Azerley Lane in Galphay have been asking the county council to repair the damaged road – where potholes are up to 4in deep – for three months but North Yorkshire County Council has yet to take any action.

“It’s just frustrating,” said Peter Dean, 67, a joiner who has lived on the road for four decades.

“We’d be quite prepared to do the job ourselves if they gave us the materials we need but they say ‘no, you can’t do that’.”

Potholes first appeared 12 months ago during last year’s big freeze and Mr Dean said the repairs carried out by the council at the time were inadequate and not completed properly.

“The condition of the road has got gradually worse and worse since then. It’s just galling that they didn’t do it right in the first place,” he said.

“It’s like the old saying, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ – the council should have done the repairs properly in the first place but now they have ended up with a bigger job. Cheaper repairs don’t save money in the long run.”

Seeing the road deteriorate further, Mr Dean contacted the council again about the problem on November 14 and has continued to do so in the intervening three months but says nothing has been done.

“We do get a lot of cyclists down here and it’s an accident waiting to happen. In the summer, a young girl from the village fell off her bike because a pothole was full of water and she didn’t realise it was as deep as it was.”

Mr Dean’s concerns are shared by neighbours.

Kate Bailey, a farmer who has lived on Azerley Lane for 18 years, said: “It’s getting really dangerous because you used to be able to avoid them but now you can’t because they are on either side.

“I have just about given up with the council – they don’t bother with side roads.”

And fellow farmer Christine Weatherhead, who has had a farm on the road for 29 years, said she wanted the problem solved soon and – in addition to safety concerns – was worried costly damage could be caused to expensive farm machinery.

“I feel the council is choosing to ignore us,” she said.

“I think it’s time they were repaired. Now there are more smaller potholes on either side of the road so the whole road is going to deteriorate further.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Repairs are prioritised depending on the classification of the road and its usage as well as location of the defects within the road and depth within the road.

“A number of defects along Azerley Lane, in Galphay, have been identified for repair and it is anticipated that these will be completed before the end of March.”