Furious villagers ‘cut off’ by potholes on their ancient Roman road that are so deep even bin collectors are refusing to drive on it – despite each paying £500 to have it fixed months ago
- Homeowners living near Merton, Norfolk say binmen won’t drive down their lane
- They paid £545 each to get potholes fixed in June but no work has been done
Furious villagers say they have been ‘cut off’ by potholes on their ancient Roman road that are so deep even bin collectors are refusing to drive down it – but say they paid £500 each to get it fixed months ago.
Home Farm Lane, which forms part of an ancient Roman road, leads to around a dozen properties on the outskirts of Merton, near Watton, Norfolk.
But those living there say visitors can’t reach them because of the deep potholes caused by farm vehicles and sugar beet lorries.
The road has become so bad that waste company Veolia has suspended waste bin collections from the properties because of its ‘extreme potholes and uneven surface’.
But the homeowners say they each paid £545 to get it fixed months ago.
Furious villagers say they have been ‘cut off’ by potholes on their ancient Roman road
The road has become so bad that waste company Veolia have suspended waste bin collections
Those living there say visitors can’t reach them and even bin collectors refuse to drive down it because of the deep potholes caused by farm vehicles and sugar beet lorries
Norfolk County Council have written to the villagers, warning them that the potholes are ‘affecting the rights of the public to use the path’.
It says since they enjoy access rights and their vehicles use the lane, it is their duty to maintain it.
But Clare Cox, who runs a cattery on the lane, claims the deeds to her property says the Merton Estate – owned by the wealthy de Grey family – are responsible.
The 47-year-old, whose family have owned a home beside Home Farm Lane since 2000, said an agent from the estate said it would cost £5,000 plus VAT to fix the lane.
She said the agent, John Hall, told the 11 homeowners to pay £545 towards the cost.
This was in June, and Ms Cox said no work has been done.
The homeowner said: ‘They’ve had everybody’s money, what’s going on?’
Home Farm Lane which forms part of an ancient Roman road at Merton, near Watton, Norfolk
Norfolk County Council have written to the villagers, warning them that the potholes are ‘affecting the rights of the public to use the path’ and they need to fix it
‘They’re more like craters really now to be honest. The last time anything’s been done to the potholes was 2017.
‘The owners use the roads to access fields so HGVs and farming vehicles will be driving along it constantly throughout winter, but in its current state, it won’t take much more damage.
‘[The estate] has a duty of care to maintain the road so residents can use it, but [they haven’t] done it.
‘So, we were given an ultimatum – come together to pay or live with it.
‘And despite reluctantly paying in the summer, still nothing has been done.
‘I own a boarding cattery, a family business which has been running for 23 years, and we’ve gone through so much with covid and everything.
‘But I may have to close down by Christmas because none of my clients can get their cars down the lane and walking in the winter isn’t an option.
‘It is the only way in and the only way out for us residents – but it’s got to the point the binmen won’t even use it to collect our rubbish.’
Mr Hall said: ‘We’ve instructed contractors, so we’re in the hands of the contractors.’
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