Report by Karen Richards
Monday, February 27, 2012
A BLACKSMITH says he is being driven mad after constant complaints about the state of a Backwell road are ignored by North Somerset Council.
Paul Mann, whose business, Bristol Wrought Iron, has operated from Long Lane for the past five years, has dubbed it ‘the worst public road in the UK’.
He, along with neighbour Martin Paterson, whose family live there, say the road is a favourite with flytippers who continually dump rubbish instead of taking it to the nearby recycling centre and it is riddled with potholes and overgrown hedges and trees.
Mr Paterson also claims his household rubbish does not get picked up from the road.
The problem came to a head last week when a fire broke out in Mr Mann’s workshops and fire crews struggled to get through.
He said: “The lane, which is about three quarters of a mile long, is disgusting and an eyesore.
“We often get rubbish dumped along here such as tyres, household waste, electrical goods and even old cars.
“I used to clear it up myself and take it down to the tip but because I am a business I am not allowed to dispose of the rubbish and anyway, it’s not my job.
“When I call the council, which is often two or three times a month to complain, they promise to do something or they promise to phone me back but it’s all promises.
“It’s like banging my head against a wall.”
North Somerset Council has said officers are aware of the problem and have installed a camera to catch offenders, who face a fine of up to £50,000 and a five-year prison sentence if prosecuted.
Mr Mann added: “They have been telling us they have a camera up for years so why haven’t they caught anyone?
“Last year when we found a bag of rubbish in the lane we found receipts in it and traced it back to a prominent businessman in Weston but after telling us there would be a prosecution, six months later we were told there was a lack of evidence.
“It’s driving us mad.”
He says he also wants to bill the authority for damage to his work van from driving over so many potholes.
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “There is also an issue with the road surface and a decision on what needs to be done is currently being considered.
“If we need to carry out emergency pothole repairs this will be done.
“We are not aware of any issues with overhanging branches but our area officer will drive it to double check and any needed action will be taken.”