A couple’s 300-yard trip into town has turned into an 11-mile round journey – costing hundreds of pounds more in fuel. Drew Pearce and Katie Wilcox claim the roadworks outside their East Yorkshire home have “cut them off”.
Drew and Katie live just a stone’s throw from Pocklington town center, where they go to regularly for work and errands. But they say repairs to the road into the center have closed off their access for two-and-a-half months, forcing them to drive a five-and-a-half mile trip each way to get around.
With fuel costs so high, Drew says he’s calculated the extra trips will rack up an extra £ 1,200 in petrol over the coming weeks – and has hit out at the property developers over the fiasco amidst rising living costs.
Read more: Stagecoach bus fares to change in Hull and East Yorkshire
The ongoing works by a property developer are to build a footpath for a housing development on the land opposite, but residents say they were not even properly notified about the disruption in advance.
“What should be just going up the lane is now more than a 10-mile round trip,” said Drew, 45. The credit card company worker works partly from home, but regularly needs to make the short journey to visit elderly relatives, do errands and visit a property he manages.
“What’s really got my goat is that it was only published in the local paper on March 30 – the road was closed on April 4. We only found out we would not have access because we happened to see that. We were never officially informed about it. “
It’s not just Drew and Katie the works are affecting – dozens of other residents and one local business claim they have also seen their access to the town center cut off. “One of my neighbors has just recovered from cancer so they can not just walk into town,” said Drew.
“The developers have told people to walk through the woods instead. But that’s just not realistic for people who are disabled or just do not want to walk through dark woods after hours. Given that we’re so close to town it’s a huge irritation . “
Drew said that even extra efforts to re-open the road overnight and at weekends would help minimize the inconvenience. Denise Slights, who owns Willow Waters holiday homes on Burnby Lane, said the closure had impacted customers and caused huge inconvenience.
“I understand what they’re doing and why, but they could have paid more sympathy to the people who live here,” she said. “It’s not just a back lane, it’s home for many people and it’s really affected the residents here.”
A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, who granted permission for the works, said: “The creation of the footpath, from the housing estate to the existing path, was a requirement of the planning application, so it needed to be done. A road closure was necessary at this site because the road was too narrow to allow for temporary traffic lights to be used and traffic to pass in order for motorists and the workforce to stay safe, according to our regulations.
Access for pedestrians and other non-motorized traffic is being maintained but keeping the road open for vehicular traffic was not possible and therefore putting a diversion in place was not considered undue in light of the need to keep people safe. This was agreed by the developer and the council. ”
Mulgrave Properties, the developers responsible for the roadworks, have also been approached for a comment.