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Gosberton residents’ cars are trapped after road collapses




Stranded residents Denise Elsam, Catherine Evans, June Howlett, Sharon Johnson, Brenda Jackson, Pat Wright and Kevin Bowers beside the underground well. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG170418-107TW
Stranded residents Denise Elsam, Catherine Evans, June Howlett, Sharon Johnson, Brenda Jackson, Pat Wright and Kevin Bowers beside the underground well. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG170418-107TW

Residents of a quiet cul-de-sac were cut off from the outside world for three-and-a-half days when part of their entrance roadway collapsed into an underground well.

People in bungalows on Churchfleet Lane, Gosberton, realised tarmac around the hole was unsupported – and daren’t drive their cars in or out because the underground chasm was several feet wide.

What it looked like underground following the road collapse. (SG170418-103TW)
What it looked like underground following the road collapse. (SG170418-103TW)

District council chairman Rodney Grocock, also county councillor for Donington, Quadring and Gosberton, came to the rescue on Monday night when he realised it was an unadopted road leading to council bungalows and South Holland District Council’s (SHDC’s) job to sort out.

He said county highways had already put a barrier around the hole, and two cones inside the hole, which temporarily sorted safety issues for residents but that had also made it worse for traffic because nobody could drive past the barrier.

Coun Grocock emailed the district council’s Phil Adams that night and the hole, which was several feet deep, was filled in on Tuesday and tar surfacing was due to be laid yesterday (Wednesday).

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Phil Adams and his team at SHDC for the quick response they made in respect of the collapsed well in Churchfleet Lane, Gosberton.

Inside the hole you could see the walls of the well. (SG170418-104TW)
Inside the hole you could see the walls of the well. (SG170418-104TW)

“I was made aware of this large hole causing problems for the residents on Monday. I reported the problem to SHDC and by lunchtime Tuesday the hole was filled.”

Resident Denise Elsam wants her stretch of road renamed, perhaps to Churchfleet Cul-de-Sac, so the authorities can sort out whose job it is to fix a problem the next time one arises.

Mrs Elsam says she reported the hole to SHDC on Friday but was told “it’s nothing to do with us” and “potholes” were the responsibility of county highways.

The resident explained to the SHDC call handler that it wasn’t a pothole but was still directed to telephone county highways, who came out to look at the site and then told the residents it wasn’t their responsibility to fix the collapse.

Mrs Elsam says her husband, John, is disabled and couldn’t walk from their home to the main part of the lane.

She said her husband was not the only disabled resident affected – and neighbours’ cars were either stranded on their drives or out on the main street.

The Elsams and fellow residents were also worried about how an ambulance or fire engine would reach them in an emergency.

• What do you think? Email your letter to our editor: jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk

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