Pay £300k... or it's the end of the road

ANGRY residents say they will fight for North Somerset Council to take responsibility for making their road safe - rather than

ANGRY residents say they will fight for North Somerset Council to take responsibility for making their road safe - rather than borrow money from the authority to get it repaired. Residents of Wakedean Gardens in Yatton say the condition of their road is so bad that 'cars can disappear in potholes for a week before emerging'. Since 1939, anyone who has bought a house there must take on joint responsibility to maintain the road. There are around 60 houses in the street, but because the road has not been adopted by North Somerset Council as a public highway, it does not have the responsibility to maintain it.Resident Heidi Pople, aged 40, who has lived in the road for 14 years, said: "We are disgusted with the fact that we pay our council tax and North Somerset has been pocketing the proportion of the money that is supposed to go towards the up-keep of roads. "We have now heard that North Somerset Council wants to loan us £300,000 to get the road repaired. Many residents in the road simply could not afford the repayments."I had to repair the suspension on my last car twice due to the state of it."The last resident who was dealing with North Somerset Council over the roads got so depressed with the lack of response that he gave up. This time we are not prepared to give up."North Somerset councillor for Yatton, Peter Kehoe, said: "Every homeowner has bought responsibility for maintaining the road upon buying a property. It is a crazy situation which should not be allowed to happen and I fully understand the strong feeling of the residents. The trouble is, nobody wants to help maintain it."We have looked at various options, and have the funds to conduct the repairs, which are estimated to be around £300,000, but sadly it is not our responsibility to repair the road. One option was to loan the money to homeowners, which would be around £5,000 per house. We can put the money up, but how would it be paid back? It is a beast of a problem."We are also looking at ways to co-ordinate all utility maintenance in the road so any work conducted will be carried out at the same time, rather than areas of road being dug up and replaced constantly."At this moment in time, the road remains the responsibility of the residents.

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