The saga of Chinnock Hollow rumbles on as the lane remains blocked.
Well-known Somerset Country Lane, known as Chinnock Hollow, remains blocked.
The lane, blocked for over two years, caused much anger among residents.
Fed-up residents awaiting action from the local council gave up hope and decided to clear it themselves.
Despite being cleared, though, the road remains closed.
Accusations have been made that the reason is that the closure suits a local councillor who resides nearby.
The Councillor in question, fed up with the accusations, has hit out.
Councillor Oliver Patrick took to social media to dispel the accusations, saying:
The Lib Dem Councillor you refer to is probably me because East Chinnock is in my Electoral Division (Coker). You’re correct that locals have unofficially cleared the road, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to reopen yet…
Here are a few myth-busters for you:
1) I don’t live in the Hollow
2) I want it open and have been campaigning vociferously for that to happen.
3) The road was closed in 2021 following the collapse of the bank and tree. Safety reports have highlighted further risks that need addressing.
4) The previous administration did next to nothing for 1.5 years after the road was closed by the collapsed bank.
5) I got elected last year and have constantly pushed the issue up the agenda.
6) FINALLY, we now have a plan to fix and reopen the road, but the cost is £2.7m and unaffordable at the present time.
7) I am campaigning for interim measures, such as those seen at Dinah’s Hollow in Dorset, until we can fund the total solution.
8 ) There was a recent public consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order to close the Hollow to pedestrians, vehicles, and bicycles. The outcome of that is due soon. I have submitted evidence to keep the road open for pedestrians and cyclists.
9) See pic for a more detailed summary…
Meanwhile, Lib Dem Adam Dance, who is standing for election as Yeovil’s next MP, struck out and explained the efforts he has been making. Dance said as he blamed the Tories,
‘The rumour is wrong. No Cllr would want the road shut. I, for one, used to use I don’t know any Cllr who lives there – the facts are
In short, Tories shut it in 2021 due to safety concerns.
Then, they did nothing about it for 1.5 years.
A report was done which said the road would cost £ 2.7 million. I have met with the parish council to see how we can all work together to reopen the road.’
The major problem appears to be the funding of 2.7 million GBP. Somerset Council is on the verge of bankruptcy – something again, the Councillors cite the previous Tory council for.
Political watcher, David Rimmons told Global247news, ‘ The main issue here is the current Tory MP Marcus Fysh.
‘ Whilst I am a Conservative voter in the main, it’s sad that Marcus Fysh has done nothing for the region for over five years or more. Thankfully, those who care about the region are battling to get the lane reopened.
‘The issue, as always, is money, but the government is spending billions on immigration. Fysh clearly had ‘no weight’ in the Central Government to obtain the small amount of funds.
He’s quick to publicise his meetings with Transport Ministers, but he can’t even organise the opening of a country lane, let alone dualling the A303 to Taunton as he claims.’