Cambridgeshire County Council vows to repair road in Murrow after residents’ fury about destroyed surface

PUBLISHED: 10:12 13 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:19 13 November 2015

Sally Gunner, Sharon Clark and Mike Howard of Cants Drove, Murrow, have voiced their concerns over the condition of their road.

Sally Gunner, Sharon Clark and Mike Howard of Cants Drove, Murrow, have voiced their concerns over the condition of their road.

Archant

Residents in Murrow want urgent action to repair the road outside their homes which they claim have been badly damaged by lorries visiting a recently built anaerobic digestion plant.

Road damage in MurrowRoad damage in Murrow

Cambridgeshire County Council has promised to repair a road in Murrow after furious residents claimed it had been badly damaged by lorries visiting a recently built anaerobic digestion plant.

Residents urged the council to make improvements to Cants Drove, which they claim has become cracked and damaged due to lorries travelling up and down the road to Somerset Farm every day.

The council now says the road will be fixed ‘in the coming days’ after meetings with residents and the business itself.

A county council spokesman said: “We have met with the residents and the business and have marked out potholes and rutting on the road, which should be repaired in the next five days or so.”

Sally Gunner, Sharon Clark and Mike Howard of Cants Drove, Murrow, have voiced their concerns over the condition of their road.Sally Gunner, Sharon Clark and Mike Howard of Cants Drove, Murrow, have voiced their concerns over the condition of their road.

The anaerobic digestion plant is operated by BioCow and first opened in early 2013; the plant uses cow manure which is broken down under controlled conditions to produce methane biogas.

However, it is the lorries bringing in the raw materials to Somerset Farm that residents claim is causing them concern.

Sally Gunner lives in a cottage at the top of the road, and is often woken up by the sound of HGVs speeding down the single track road - sometimes as early as 5.30am.

She said: “The road wasn’t built to cope with this amount of traffic and it’s getting destroyed by these heavy lorries.

“I live right at the top of the road near the turning and lorries come into the junction at speed; it’s frightening.”

Mrs Gunner says the speed the lorries travel often causes the ground to shake - something the residents are forced to cope with every day.

“We have to deal with these lorries 24 hours a day for nearly the entire year – the only day we don’t get them down here is Christmas Day.”

The stream of traffic and the damaged road is also a worry for Sharon Clark, who runs her dog grooming business from her cottage half way along Cants Drove.

She said: “Lorries come and go at all times of the day – I’ve seen and heard them fly past my house as early as 5.00am.”

“I moved here for the peace and quiet, but since the anaerobic digester was built there hasn’t been a quiet day here.

“I breed dogs and used to walk my dogs two or three times a day but I daren’t walk them anymore because of all the lorries,” she said.

Planning permission for the 500kwh anaerobic digester to be built on the grounds of Somerset Farm was approved in January 2012, with strict delivery guidelines put in place in order to reduce traffic and noise coming from the plant.

However, now that the plant is fully operational, residents say there are no guidelines on when deliveries and collections can be made to the plant, often resulting in lorries moving up and down the road at all hours of the day, leaving the road littered with potholes.

Mike Howard, who lives just off Cants Drove, says his grandchildren often play outside his home and he fears that they could get hit if the lorries do not slow down.

He said: “When I’m in my house I can physically feel the floor shake from the lorries driving past.

”I often have my grandchildren playing outside my house and I worry that they could be hit by a lorry that isn’t going slowly enough down the road.”

Despite the county council vowing to repair the road, one of the owners of the BioCow plant, Derek Burgoyne, says he too has concerns over how fast lorries travel down the road - but the council say they have had no contact with him.

“We want a speed limit to be put in place but at the moment it still has a 60mph limit,” said Mr Burgoyne.

“We have no authority to punish any road users as it is a public road and we’ve often visited the residents of the road to check that everything is ok.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Wisbech Standard