'Horrendous' Shropshire road surface still cracked and flooded one year on

People who live and work in a tiny hamlet blighted by terrible potholes and flooding say they have been waiting for well over a year for the necessary improvements.

The people who use the unnamed road in Little Soudley every day are fed up of the poor state of the road surface. From left are Nick Partridge, Judy Udale, Sue Preece and Mike Yates
The people who use the unnamed road in Little Soudley every day are fed up of the poor state of the road surface. From left are Nick Partridge, Judy Udale, Sue Preece and Mike Yates

Residents at Little Soudley, just south of Cheswardine, are furious at what they say is a lack of action by the county council to fix the "horrendous" state of the unnamed road that goes through the hamlet.

It is marked by large potholes, the sides of the road are worn away and the drainage is inadequate which leads to flooding when there is heavy rain. Shropshire Council said work on the surface of the road will begin next year.

The road floods in severe weather conditions

Mike Yates and his partner run the Foxbridge Animal Hotel, which is accessed by the road. A number of farms and the Ellerton Wood Farm Moorings also rely on the road.

Mr Yates, 31, said that his car was badly damaged this week after hitting a pothole.

"It's horrendous. You wouldn't be able to drive a sports car down here, it's terrible.

"When it floods, the water literally covers the road and you can't get out of your driveway.

"[The council] keep doing little, tiny bits of areas but it doesn't change the state of the road.

"It's used by farm machinery, it's used by our business, it's used by the school run."

He said that in the flooding earlier this year, an ambulance that was called could not pass the water and had to turn back to go the long way around through Cheswardine.

The road does not even have road signs denoting it as 'Little Soudley', he said.

The surface of the road is badly worn away

Rob Gittins represents the residents as the county councillor for Cheswardine. He has listening to their complaints about the road for months.

He said: "We do need to try and get this road fixed. I think they came to me about a year ago now complaining about issues with the road.

"I believe [Shropshire Council's highways team] have been out a few times to try and patch things up, but to be honest the road does just need resurfacing."

He said the road is on a list to be resurfaced and that the council's highways portfolio holder, Steve Davenport, is aware of the issues – but that the road is behind more major highways in the pecking order.

"Like lots of these things, it's down to money and being able to afford to do it this financial year.

"One of the issues we face here in Shropshire is a lot of the money given by Government has to be prioritised to A-roads, then B-roads, then those small country roads.

"About two thirds of Shropshire is small country roads. It's always very challenging times when it comes to getting rural roads resurfaced.

"I would like to see more money spent on keeping rural roads in better condition."

Andy Wilde, Shropshire Council’s highways operations manager, said: “Our land drainage team are aware of the flooding to the properties and the road.

"We are planning to undertake some preparation work to the carriageway this year, ahead of surface dressing which will commence in 2021.”

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