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Purl's Bridge Drove in Manea faces emergency repairs after suffering severe damage from heavy lorries




A rural road leading to a local beauty spot is to under-go emergency repairs after being left riddled with pot holes by lorries.

Purl's Bridge Drove which leads down to the RSPB reserve at Welches Dam in Manea has become almost impassable because of the damage caused in recent months by trucks carting materials for a major £27million, four-year project, to raise the flood bank along the Ouse Washes.

The project, which began at Welney in 2017, will see the entire flood bank from Welney to Earith raised and reinforced.

This summer has seen work continue at Welches Dam but the road down to the reserve is single track and as a result has suffered severe damage by the lorries.

Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207167)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207167)

Residents who live at Purl's Bridge and Welches Dam have complained about the state of the surface prompting an emergency meeting between Manea's district councillor Charlie Marks and representatives from Cambridgeshire Highways this week.

Coun Marks said: "I was contacted by concerned residents, complaining about the amount of lorries using the road and the damage they have caused and so took a drive there. It is absolutely terrible, I was shocked by the state of the road - it has deteriorated badly. It is only just passable for ordinary cars.

"As a result I asked for a meeting with Cambridgeshire Highways they came out more or less straight away. They agreed emergency repairs are needed. But obviously if the lorries continue to use the road then the damage will continue too."

Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207165)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207165)

One Welches Dam resident said: "If the road gets any worse it will be impassable. It is already difficult to negotiate in a normal car as it is so badly damaged. Luckily we have a 4x4, but it will soon be too much for that.

"There are up to 30 lorries a day thundering down here. We were under the impression they were not supposed to use this road to access the site, but should have been using the Environment Agency's haul road which runs alongside the the river from Welney to Mepal.

"It can be a bit hairy meeting one of the lorries as the road is only wide enough for one vehicle."

Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207176)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207176)

After raising the issue with the Environment Agency a spokesman said: “Our contractors will no longer be using Purl’s Bridge Drove to access our work site at Welches Dam after today (Thursday).

“The route had been used for an average of six deliveries of gravel to site per day over the past three weeks as part of the latest phase of work to raise the levels of the Middle Level Barrier Bank.

“We are aware that vehicle movements to and from site have had an impact on the road surface and will be working with our contractors, sub-contractors, the parish council and the county council to restore the affected sections of road surface.

Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207183)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207183)

“We apologise to residents for any disruption or inconvenience this has caused.”

He said the reason the road was being used instead of the haul road, which is designed for maintenance traffic, was because the work being undertaken had blocked parts of it.

Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. In some places there is a deep drop along the side the roadway. (16207186)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. In some places there is a deep drop along the side the roadway. (16207186)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207174)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207174)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207178)
Heavy lorries have caused major damage to a minor village road. (16207178)


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