Fury at road being dug up after full resurfacing work

Steven Bridgett Church Street at in Rothbury.'Picture Jane Coltman
Steven Bridgett Church Street at in Rothbury.'Picture Jane Coltman

A furious councillor has slammed plans to dig up a road, just weeks after it has been resurfaced.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is to dig up part of the road on Church Street, near the Market Cross, in Rothbury.

But less than two months ago the area was completely resurfaced in a £250,000 scheme.

The new work is to be undertaken for a private customer and is nothing to do with Northumberland County Council.

But Rothbury Coun Steven Bridgett is annoyed about the work.

“It is an inconvenience and it could have been avoided,” he said. “People were well aware of the resurfacing works and when they were taking place.

“It is just a shame the customer did not take advantage of that work.

“We are trying to make sure the work is done when other worls are going on to minimise disruption.”

The work is set to take place on July 7 and 8 and the road will be closed for the duration.

A county council spokeswoman said: “Because this is not part of their planned programme of works, we are unable to plan this in advance.

“We can direct utility companies to some extent – in relation to timing of works, and also in relation to positioning of equipment, but we can’t stop them from doing work.”

NGN project manager Norman de Bruin said: “We can confirm that we have received a request to connect a property in Rothbury to the gas supply.

“Although we cannot control when a customer requests a connection, they do have a legal right to be connected to the gas. In this instance it is unfortunate that this work was requested shortly after the road was resurfaced.

“We have worked extensively with the Highways Authority to minimise disruption to the people of Rothbury. As part of our work we will be employing methods to reduce the amount of digging that we need to do on the recently resurfaced road by planning carefully the route that the new pipework will take.

“We will also be reinstating the road and pathways on the same day that we excavate which will considerably reduce the time that we are on site.”