Frustrated homeowners in Ripon have been forced to take matters into their own hands after months of feeling ignored by the county council.
Fishergreen resident Fred Crossman lowered the bollards at the bottom of the street, by the overbridge, fearing emergency services would be blocked from people in need after North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) issued a statement warning residents the road would be closed to vehicles for at least seven days.
“I am furious,” Mr Crossman, 64, told the Gazette.
“There is only one little pothole on the road from the A61 overbridge to Ford Green, where they will be resurfacing, and it doesn’t really need resurfacing. The bollards are removable so by lowering them the emergency services can still get through. It’s a simple solution.”
This is not the first time Mr Crossman and his neighbours have felt they have had to take matters into their own hands to fix problems on the picturesque street.
Fishergreen resident Neil Claxton suggested building his own gulley outside his home as flood defence work along the street caused excessive standing water – described as a “lake” by Mr Claxton, 41.
The surface water on the road is retained by the raised riverbank constructed by contractors from the Environment Agency (EA) as part of its £14.4m flood alleviation scheme. But Mr Crossman now fears standing water problems could get even worse when heavy rain hits the city. EA contractors have been assigned to raise a small section of the street by 1.4m to correct a dip in the road, which Mr Crossman said will cause standing water to run down onto his drive.
Describing his difficulty getting his message across to NYCC and the EA about the street’s persistent problems, Mr Crossman said: “NYCC and the EA are acting like Big Brother. They come along and do whatever they want and we can’t touch them.”
A spokesman for NYCC said the road only had to be closed for two days for work to be completed. “If we had lowered the bollards, the verges that are being restored after the flood defence work would have been damaged.”
A spokesman for the EA told the Gazette discussions are ongoing between the EA and NYCC about surface water issues on the site and they have now installed two new drains at the points “where drainage issues were most apparent.” The spokesman said: “The new flood alleviation scheme has been designed to protect some 548 properties in Ripon from flooding, and has already been tested since it was completed last year.”