Collapsed road near George Nympton may not be usable until 2014
A ROAD which collapsed at the end of last year may not be fixed by the county council until August 2014.
The unclassified stretch of road, which goes over Wampford Bridge near George Nympton Cross, partly collapsed on December 31 following the intense rainfall prior to Christmas.
Even though only one half of the road had collapsed, a Devon County Council highways team dug a trench right across the full width of road and it is now impassable.
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In the last week a notice has been put up nearby saying a temporary prohibition of through traffic will be in place on the road from Monday February 11 until Sunday August 10 2014.
The Journal asked Devon County Council whether the work would really take 18 months to complete, but the authority did not provide an explanation.
Nearby residents say the road closure is causing a lot of inconvenience.
Beverley Jones, who owns Sampson Barton Guest House in Kings Nympton, says the closure has caused delays for her customers and for lorries trying to deliver to her property.
"It is appalling," she added. "At the moment we can't even get into South Molton.
"It is extra mileage, extra petrol. Yesterday we had a delivery and it took the delivery man an hour and a half to get to us from South Molton because his sat nav directed him down that road.
"If you follow the diversion you end up God knows where. How on earth will people get here? It just puts people off.
"We have had people ring up for the restaurant and I have had to refuse them because I don't know if they'll get here."
Ms Jones said it was unacceptable that rural areas were not given more priority by the county council.
"It is absolutely ridiculous," she added. "We pay our council tax the same as everyone else.
"To be honest we just feel at a total loss. Once again because we have chosen to come and live out here in a rural farmhouse we are being penalised. Is our money not as good as anybody else's?
Carol Ainsworth who also lives nearby at Caplecombe Farm is also concerned. She said the effects of the road closure have been made worse by the recent floods.
"They dug a ditch right across," she said. "They had to do that because it was dangerous but it is an absolute pain.
"When you have floods as well it is even worse. We have to go miles round the get in to South Molton. If it is going to be that long before anything is done it will be horrible."