Holes left in pavement over ‘discipline’ issue

Coun Ralph Snape and Coun Joyce Snape with the holes left on Walgarth Drive in Chorley
Coun Ralph Snape and Coun Joyce Snape with the holes left on Walgarth Drive in Chorley

Chorley residents are outraged that giant holes have been left at the end of their driveways.

Gas firm Balfour Beatty started work on Walgarth Drive around two weeks ago, but have left the site abandoned and unfinished following a discipline dispute.

Now, people are unable to use their driveways because barriers have been put up around the massive holes left in the pavements and road.

Resident Jennifer Preston said: “My husband is furious because his car is full of tools for work, so he doesn’t like to leave it on the road.

“They shouldn’t leave it in this state.

“It’s a busy road with a bus route, and with the schools going back this week, it’s going to be even worse for people trying to navigate the holes.”

Her neighbour Marcella Calderbank added: “We can accept the disruption when work needs to be done, but to just leave the road like this is unbelievable.”

Many have contacted Chorley councillors Ralph and Joyce Snape in their frustration, and the couple have worked hard to get answers.

Ralph said: “I spoke to Balfour Beatty and they said it was a discipline issue between the company and the workers.

“They said they’ll be back on site on Monday, but it’ll be more than a week since they left then, and it’s just a shambles.

“It’s a big company, so I can’t understand why they didn’t have a back-up plan in place to finish the work.

“It’s affecting more roads than Walgarth Drive; the work been going on for months around the area.

“I’ve had complaints from residents living in Stanstead Road, Isleworth Drive and Hardy Drive, and in my 35 years as a councillor, I’ve never received so many complaints in such a short period of time.”

He added: “It just seems they’ve moved onto the next street before finishing the first one, and there are huge holes at either side of the roads.

“People shouldn’t have to put up with this; it’s ridiculous. The company doesn’t seem to realise that people actually live in these houses.”

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty said: “Balfour Beatty is currently undertaking the replacement of Victorian gas mains in the North West of England.

“The works are scheduled to take place in Walgarth Drive on September 12 and will be complete in around two weeks, having been delayed by eight working days.

“This short delay is due to an internal disciplinary matter relating to a sub-contractor working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions.

“Balfour Beatty would like to offer our apologies for any inconvenience caused and reassure residents that we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the work is completed to the highest standard and to the satisfaction of the local community.”