Queen Street resident Bob Everall says roadworks went on until midngiht. Photo by Chris Carson

Anger after Colyton road is dug up twice

Thursday, January 31, 2013
9.14 AM

Timing of works in Queen Street described as “unfortunate” by highways chiefs

Angry Colyton residents have accused officials of ‘wasting money’ after their road was dug up twice within days.

The long-awaited resurfacing of Queen Street, by Devon County Council, caused some disruption but was generally welcomed by those living in the area.

But when Western Power turned just around week later and dug the road up again they were left fuming – especially as work went on for two days.

Local resident David Sibbald said, apart from the disruption, it was an unbelievable ‘waste of money’.

“They had come and resurfaced the road and painted neat little yellow lines and everyone was delighted they had done it,” he said. “People had been fighting for ages for it.

“But then Western Power wrote to us to say they were coming to dig it up again. It has only been completely resurfaced 10 days before. Surely they are supposed to talk to each other?”

Another Queen Street resident, Bob Everall, said they had not noticed any problems with their electricity supplies but then they got a letter from Western Power saying they were being turned off for the day.

“ They arrived in the early morning and worked until midnight,” he told The Herald.

“They had to come back again the next day – the road was shut to traffic for two days in all.

“They must have known they needed to do the work – with electricity you either have it or you don’t.”

Another resident who asked not to be named said it was obviously a case of two organisations not communicating with each other.

But Sharon Cross , of Western Power, said they had no choice but to do the work when it needed to be done.

“It was a short notice planned repair of a fault,” she said. “We have to notify street works we are doing the works, which we did.

“When we planned the work the new surface was not there. When we went along it was.

“It was something we had to do as soon as possibly, although not an emergency, as such.”

Liz Berry, clerk of Colyton Parish Council, said they had asked the highways authority for an explanation as Western Power made all the checks they had to do and there was nothing on the system re the resurfacing.

“Until we get the result of that investigation we don’t know the full story,” she said.

A spokesman for the highway authority said: “Devon County Council was only notified of these works in Queen Street by Western Power on the day they started. The timing of the work is unfortunate but Western Power is entitled to dig up the road without notice to carry out immediate works to deal with cable faults. We are currently inspecting the reinstatement of the road.”