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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Cockermouth Main Street dug up again after sewer collapse

PART of Cockermouth’s Main Street is being dug up again following a sewer collapse – just weeks after the road was resurfaced following extensive work.

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DRAIN PROBLEMS: Workmen dig up the newly laid Main Street in Cockermouth

The road outside Hunter’s Bar was dug up on Wednesday after problems at Hunter’s, The Brown Cow and the North Lakes Clinic.

Hunter’s manager Sharon Varty said: “The toilets have been blocked on and off for the past five weeks.

“We spoke to the site manager for the works outside. The pavement was dug up outside us and The Brown Cow two weeks ago and we were told it was fixed. Then, the week before the bank holiday weekend, the toilets were blocked again.

“Someone from United Utilities had a camera down and they said there was rubble in the sewerage pipe under the road.”

Sharon said it had been a struggle during the busy bank holiday, with bar staff having to unblock the toilets every six or seven flushes.

She added: “It’s a joke. The roadworks problems are never-ending.

“One day they’re laying the road, then it’s being dug up again.”

Shirley Pitman, business co-ordinator at the North Lakes Clinic, which provides complementary therapies, was pleased to see workers dealing with the problem, having been struggling with slow-draining water and unpleasant smells.

She said: “We thought we had a block and had been going around manholes trying to find the source.

“We then discovered it was nothing to do with us.

“I know it will be better in the end but the noise of the digging has kept our clients away, it’s so loud.”

Meanwhile, town dentist Meredyth Bell has voiced concern about the impact of impending roadworks on her patients with special needs.

Her practice in Market Place treats about 600 patients with special needs. It is in the process of creating a second surgery with disabled access to cope with increasing demand.

These patients are either dropped off by taxi or rely on using disabled parking spaces in the nearby car parks at Bitterbeck and Riverside.

Mrs Bell is concerned that remedial work due to start in Market Place will lead to access problems.

She said: “I’m hoping they can do it in sections, and maintain access, rather than close the whole thing.

“If the car parks cannot be accessed then it will penalise those very vulnerable patients who need close parking to the practice for emergency and routine appointments.”

She has asked town solicitors Waugh and Musgrave to investigate the legality of the situation.

Town centre manager Joe Broomfield said: “The intention is to keep things open as much as possible. The work will not be on the same scale as Main Street.

“At some point they will need to close the road but disruption should be kept to a minimum.”

Rachel Habgood, who runs Riverside Bed and Breakfast in Market Street, has approached traders in Market Place asking them to write to the council asking for more information about the improvement works.

She said her business had been reduced by 50 per cent since the roadworks started in the spring.

She said: “There is no passing trade any more. The routes through town have been chopped and changed so much that people do not come up here.

“When they do, we have become like traffic wardens, helping people who are confused by the signs and need directions.”

A county council spokesman said: “At present we cannot say when the works will start nor their duration. We will keep local businesses fully informed and will do everything we can to minimise any disruption.”

Have your say

This is a basic error - whoever was managing the project at this point should be brought to book. They will have insurance (surely?) and a claim should be made. People have been extremely tolerant, but this is beyond what is acceptable.

Posted by Jan on 29 August 2014 at 18:49

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