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Busy Fleet road turned into 'ghost town' by council-dug hole

Residents have expressed their anger at the "huge" hole which is blocking Avondale Road

Residents Linda and Alan Friedler by a large hole that has been dug in Avondale Rd, Fleet, which no organisation seems to be taking responsibility for.

A massive hole dug up in a busy road in Fleet is causing a headache for people living nearby.

Residents have been left frustrated after the hole – stretching from one pavement to the other – was dug in Avondale Road, effectively blocking the road.

Diversion signs went up on July 7, but since then no work has taken place.

Hart District Council, acting as agents for Hampshire County Council, closed the road for highway maintenance work between the junctions of Kent Road and Kenilworth Road.

Linda Friedler, who lives in nearby Brookly Gardens, said: “It’s a huge hole. I rang Hampshire highways and they said they were in dispute with the water board about it and it could go on for an indefinite period. They also said quite a lot of people had complained about it.

“The whole thing is up in the air and nothing is being done. Lots of people in the area are getting cross about it. It’s a through road so it affects everyone.”

Her husband Alan said: “The hole is only a foot or two deep but it stretches across the road from one pavement to another. You can’t even get a bicycle through it. If it was only half the road it wouldn’t be so bad. It’s normally such a busy and major cut through and to see it so quiet is amazing. At the moment it looks like a ghost town.”

Mr Friedler said since the hole was dug no work has been carried out since.

“Apparently the council decided that a water company had made sub-standard repairs to the road where the hole now is,” he said.

“They asked the water company to correct the alleged substandard repairs but they refused, because they didn’t agree it was substandard. To prove it was substandard, the council dug up the road to do some sort of assessment/report to strengthen their case. Unfortunately they have just left it in a dug-up state while the wrangling about who pays for repairs goes on.”

Mr Friedler said residents were angry that no one seems accountable for the situation.

“They’ve just dug a hole and run away,” he added.

Cllr Seán Woodward, the county council’s executive member for transport, said there have been ‘continual problems’ with a faulty utility repair in Avondale Road.

“Hampshire County Council highways teams recently excavated the faulty repair to investigate the cause, and have been awaiting the results of tests carried out on the materials to determine the cause of the failure,” he added. “Arrangements have now been made by Hampshire County Council to have the necessary repair of this patch carried out as quickly as possible.”

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We are aware of the excavation in Avondale Road and will be doing a CCTV survey of the sewer there on August 4 to check for damage and blockages. We are sorry for any disruption being caused.”

 
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