Problem road in Northumberland is being 'closely monitored' as further cracks appear

A Northumberland road is being ‘closely monitored’ after further cracks appeared on its surface.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 23:57 pm
Coun Glen Sanderson, Paul Jones, Director of Local Services, Northumberland County Council and Coun Trevor Thorne

Northumberland County Council wants to reassure residents of the Coquet Valley that the B6344 Weldon Bridge to Rothbury road at Todstead, near Weldon, bridge is being monitored after further minor cracking appeared.

The road is in an area where the valley side is made up of unstable soils affected by high water pressures in the groundwater and the toe of the embankment is also affected by erosion from the River Coquet.

The valley side has been the subject of ongoing minor earth movements for as long as the road has been in place.

The council has been monitoring of the area since 2016 using specialist geotechnical engineers. As an outcome of initial investigations, drainage works were carried out last year to help stabilise the land above the road.

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The road is continuing to be monitored as options for long term repair are considered.

In the short term, minor repairs to the road surface will be carried out, but the latest reports indicate that any future movement is likely to be small.

A major multi-million capital funding bid to the Department for Transport’s ‘Highway Maintenance Challenge Fund’ is also being compiled by the council – which, if successful, will create a long term engineering solution to stabilise the road and prevent further movement.

The deadline for bids is Thursday, October 31, and successful schemes will be implemented during the next two financial years.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said the land slips at Todstead have been a long standing problem.

He said: “We’ve developed a scheme that we intend to submit to the DfT to access the significant capital funds required to safeguard the road. In the meantime we will continue to do everything we can to ensure it remains safe and passable to traffic’.

Councillor for Shilbottle, Trevor Thorne, added: “Everyone that regularly travels along this road will be familiar with the long term problems and uneven surfaces at Todstead and I fully support the work being undertaken to seek funding for a long term solution that will safeguard this vital local road.”