Winter road to be kept clear

Steven Bridgett at the landslip near Rothbury.
Steven Bridgett at the landslip near Rothbury.

A series of plans are in place to make sure Rothbury is not cut off in adverse winter weather.

With the landslip on the B6344 closing the road for the foreseeable future, measures are being put in place to make sure the diverted route to and from the village along the B6341 is kept open and clear during any spells of ice and snow.

Piles of grit have been put at intervals along the road by Northumberland County Council’s winter services team and in adverse weather they will be spread across the carriageway to make sure the road is fit for motorists.

Rothbury and Coquetdale county councillor Steven Bridgett said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure the road is kept open.

“There are even a few residents who leave for work earlier than the gritters and will call me to let me know the state of the road so that we know where to deploy resources.

“In the event of heavy snow we have contracts with local farmers who will come out and carry out work to clear the road as they did last year, which is invaluable.

“We are also looking at potentially installing snow fences along certain sections.

“At the top of the moor the road is very exposed and we often get snow blown across the roads from the fields.

“If we can put up snow fencing this could help alleviate that problem.

“We also have a snow blower available to us as well should we need it.

“Every resource will be put in to keeping that road open.

“But should any resident have any concerns I am happy for them to contact me.”

The B6344 has been closed since Boxing Day last year when part of the road crumbled into the bank below in a landslip.

The road has cracked in four places and has been deemed ‘highly unstable’.

A tender is going out to the European Union for the contract to complete the work.

Work is ongoing at the site and motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are reminded that it is out-of-bounds.

It is expected that work will not be completed and the road up to scratch to take traffic until 2015.