Some six weeks ago I wrote about the condition of the B6346 from the A697 at Wooperton through Eglingham to Alnwick – a relatively major road as B roads go since it actually carries a B derivation, which most of our minor roads in Alnwick and Berwick districts do not, and it carries most of the lorries, buses and commercial traffic from Wooler to Alnwick and to Alnmouth for the railway.
Indeed, the lorry traffic is too wide for the country roads and is causing the break-up of the outer edge of the roads making them risky for cars.
The county council did do a few repairs on the first two miles from Wooperton up to the back of Harehope Hall, then they stopped.
I counted 69 holes going west on this road out of Alnwick and later 70-plus going east to Alnwick in the last two weeks.
The Denwick Lane hole photographed in your paper last week is not much compared to many of the potholes I am writing about, as the sides are shallow and not jagged and sharp like many on the B6346 and is not therefore dangerous as the ones I write about.
The B6346 is a death-trap waiting to happen.
I had an accident recently due to a blow-out of my rear outside tyre when I had a shuddering in the steering cornering at Glebe Cottage on a bend and sadly there was another car round the corner coming to Alnwick.
Fortunately both of us were unharmed but our wing mirrors were right-offs.
I found a hole four inches across and learnt from the insurance company that this was a blow-out due to the fact that these holes don’t cause immediate punctures, but the sharp edges cause damage to the wheel structure which causes the rupture later.
These accidents at present are common and NFU insurance sayd that the county council is refusing any compensation for this type of damage.
One car-repair firm in our area says that they are doing about £10,000 of replacement tyres per week at present, which is coming out of the pockets of agriculture at a time when the Government is wanting us to produce more food for the future.
Now I am fearful of what is happening in the English border where rural areas have been financially axed of monies to give to towns and Scotland and Wales as a government priority.
I gather from the radio this morning that Devon and Cornwall have roads in a similar state and yet the Government (which expects agriculture to expand in production) are cutting back not only on transport, but rural schools (which have a scarcity problem), health services and not least, social services to the elderly.
On Wednesday morning, I found one unable to contact the headquarters and the social service department by telephone as they were doing something to the telephone line. This apparently is not unusual.
The B6346 is a death-trap. I wonder how long it will be before worse, a fatal incident occurs and the county council will not be available.