‘I fear this A16 pothole will cause a death before long’

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A WORRIED parish councillor fears a pair of deep potholes either side of the railway tracks in Deeping St Nicholas are putting the lives of motorists and cyclists using the busy A16 at risk.

Ian McDonald has highlighted the problem potholes either side of the Littleworth level crossing – and although he has reported them to Lincolnshire County Council he has been told that they fall on railway land and are the responsibility of Network Rail to fix.

He said: “A cyclist could come off and easily be killed there, it’s pretty serious. They’re taking no notice.

“There are heavy goods vehicles and all sorts using this road – if a cyclist comes off then they’d almost certainly go into the path of the traffic.”

He measured the hole on the north side of the crossing, the worst of the two, and said it is four inches deep.

Mr McDonald’s wife Helen broke a wheel on her X Type Jaguar while driving over the problem pothole last November, which cost £400 to put right, and he said the spot has been an issue for some time.

He added: “They did a bodge-up repair last year, this has been going on for months.

“If you go down there you will be appalled at the condition.”

Mr McDonald says he was told that county council highways engineers would have already fixed the hole if it was on their land but the delay has come because it is Network Rail’s responsibility.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said that anything between the “stop” lines at a level crossing is in the control of the railway.

The spokesman said: “The county council are out every day attending to the great many potholes which are constantly appearing across our huge network.

“Unfortunately, the defects on the surface near Littleworth railway crossing are on Network Rail land, which we are not allowed to work on and is their responsibility.

“Even to work on the road near a level crossing requires the submission of considerable permissions and risk assessments to the rail companies, for obvious reasons.

“We recommended that Mr MacDonald contact Network Rail directly, but also reported the potholes to them ourselves. Network Rail put out warning signs on Wednesday morning and we understand they will make repairs as soon as they can.”

Lincolnshire County Council is bidding for part of a £100m Government funding pot to boost the cash it has to fix the county’s roads – after the sub zero winter temperatures left many surfaces in a poor state of repair.

Mr McDonald is also trying to find out how many people have complained about the Deeping St Nicholas problem, and how long the two potholes have been a problem.

He is urging anyone who has been affected to go along to Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council’s next meeting, which takes place at the village primary school from 7pm on Monday.