Begdale Road, Elm, is being destroyed by over the limit lorries on way to solar farm development say residents

PUBLISHED: 09:59 08 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:57 08 February 2016

A map of National Cycle Route 63, photo by Cambridgeshire County Council

A map of National Cycle Route 63, photo by Cambridgeshire County Council

Archant

Despite a sign indicating that Begdale Road in Elm is ‘unsuitable for HGVs’, residents say a solar farm has destroyed the verges and seriously damaged the road.

Despite a sign indicating that Begdale Road in Elm is ‘unsuitable for HGVs’, residents say a solar farm has destroyed the verges and seriously damaged the road.

British Solar Renewables aqquired the project from Belectric in October 2015 and contracted the development.

Wendy Ferguson, of Wales Bank, said lorries weighing over 40 tonnes have been coming through the village since October 2015 to deliver panels to Belectric’s solar farm site.

“Cambridgeshire County Council has been swamped with complaints – from myself and residents,” she said.

“They inspected the road and requested that it be repaired by the end of January, however this has not happened. People are starting to feel as though they have been abandoned because none is doing anything about it.

“While Belectric are reluctant to take responsibility, residents are taking their life in their hands as the road is muddy, dangerous and collapsing both sides.

“The road’s been in this condition since the end of October. Now they are just arguing over who is going to repair it.

“But there’s no way Belectric can say they have not caused that damage to the road,” she added. “I have lived here for 22 years and I’ve never known the road to get in such a bad condition.”

“It’s also part of national cycling route 63, but local cyclists are training indoors because it’s so dangerous.”

Elm is, however, an essential route because traffic gets diverted through it in the case of an accident.

“To me, it’s just not acceptable,” Mrs Ferguson said. “In my view, Fenland District Council has given permission for the solar farm in a completely inappropriate location, and they are now not ensuring road users’ safety.”

Peter Bryant, who lives in Colletts Bridge and uses Begdale Road as a route to the A47 by car, said: “We have been increasingly concerned that the road widening appears to be ineffective as there are clearly places where vehicles are leaving the carriageway damaging the verges.

“The damage done is not damage I have seen before, and has only appeared since construction on the site commenced.

“Heavy vehicles are either manoeuvring off the road to pass traffic or unable to pass safely down the carriageway on their own.”

He added: “My concern is that as the weather conditions worsen over the winter, we shall see vehicles forced or accidentally leaving the road.”

British Solar Renewables met with Cambridgeshire County Council last week to discuss residents’ concerns.

We are awaiting the outcome of that meeting.


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