B1166 Hull's Drove repair bill totals £838000 in last nine years, according to county highways report

Repairs to a road near Crowland where a HGV crashed recently have totalled nearly GBP840,000 since 2010, the Spalding Guardian can reveal. The staggering repair bill for the B1166 Hull’s Drove, between Shepeau Stow and Holbeach Drove, was confirmed after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to county highways leaders. Nearly GBP624,000 has already been spent on the road where a transporter carrying vehicles to the WH Brand dealership, in Whaplode Road, left the road and landed in a ditch four weeks ago.

However, the FOI report from Lincolnshire County Council also confirmed that a further GBP214,000 is to be spent on maintaining the B1166 before the end of the year. This amount does not include pothole repairs which are paid for separately and on an annual basis, rather than individually, according to the county council’s report. Retired engineer Malcolm Tremayne, of Fleet Coy, near Gedney Hill, who uses the B1166 regularly, said: “The council has spent all this money on the road but it hasn’t been repaired properly and it’s dangerous.

“No one has come to look at Hull’s Drove where, in my opinion, it looks as if road workers have just thrown a little bit of concrete down and then flattened it, or expected the cars and lorries that use the B1166 to flatten it. “I don’t think anybody has taken enough care and attention to put material underneath the road to make it last longer.”

An aerial view of the B1166 Hull’s Drove, between Shepeau Stow and Holbeach Drove. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire County Council. (13928607)

Highways engineers carried out what the county council described as “essential resurfacing work” to the B1166 over a three-week period in May 2015, followed by another round of repairs in December 2018. But Mr Tremayne said: “I’ve lived here for at least 20 years and every year, contractors have kept coming back to do little bits on the road.

“But to me, that’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and with the amount that’s been spent on Hull’s Drove, the condition of it now shows that the work hasn’t been done properly.” Coun Nigel Pepper, whose county council ward includes the B1166, said: “Last year’s ‘Beast from the East’, followed by the long summer drought, took its toll on roads in the south of the county, so much so that the conditions of some of them are the worst I have seen in my lifetime. “In this part of the county, frequent major works have to be undertaken to repair roads like the B1166 Hull’s Drove which has evolved over the years from originally being a cart track.

Coun Nigel Pepper. Photo by Tim Wilson.

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“The subsoils of the B1166 dry out, causing the road surface to subside and this is more so where there are ditches, trees or hedges close to the road. “As a result, a disproportionate amount of funds has to be spent on it and it is anticipated that with climate change in mind, subsidence to roads in South Lincolnshire will be an ever-increasing problem and a drain on resources.” A Lincolnshire County Council spokesman said: “As a result of last year’s long, hot summer, we are seeing drought damage on some roads in low-lying parts of the county, including the B1166.

A crack in the B1166 Hull’s Drove, Shepeau Stow, which was resurfaced during the summer of 2015. Photo supplied.

“We have made a number of temporary repairs to ensure the road remains safe to use and more extensive works will be carried out later this year.

“This will be a combination of patching, resurfacing and reconstruction, a tailored approach which will be more effective than simply resurfacing the entire length of the carriageway, an approach that would not address the more serious, underlying issues we are seeing on some sections of the road. “In the meantime, we will continue to inspect and monitor the situation on a regular basis and carry out any temporary repairs when required.”

Coun Allan Beal, South Holland District Council member for Whaplode and Holbeach St Johns.

Coun Allan Beal, district councillor for Whaplode and Holbeach St Johns, said: “It has to be accepted that the B1166 is a major traffic route for both private and freight transport. “Therefore, it is inevitable with the size and weight of the lorries using Hull’s Drove that this will have an impact on the road substructure.

“The monies spent to date, and earmarked going forward, clearly reflect the seriousness that Lincolnshire County Council places on the maintenance and ongoing safety of all users of this road.”

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