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Wrecked road pricetag partially revealed

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Wrecked road pricetag partially revealed

REPAIRING a village road in Annandale which has been closed for four years is going to cost Dumfries and Galloway Council £908,000.

The local authority this week revealed the pricetag for their share of works to the C61a in Waterbeck.

A spokesperson said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council has allocated a budget of £908k for the works. This does not include the additional funds from the utility company.”

However, SP Energy Networks declined to reveal what they are paying towards the scheme, with a spokesperson saying: “We don’t disclose details which are subject to ongoing contractual discussions.”

Meanwhile, there was also a reticence and confusion around the timescale for the works.

In a statement, SP Energy Networks said: “We will be in touch with the local community and stakeholders shortly to inform them of the timeline for further repairs.”

But when asked to clarify the start date, they replied: “In terms of timeline, the council is best placed to address your query.

“We have worked with the local council to ensure the repair works will address all identified defects and leave the road in a better condition for local people and drivers.

“We always work to minimise disruption and apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.”

However, villagers say the firm’s much-repeated apology is now meaningless and pointed out the ‘emergency road closure’ has now been in situ for four years, with diversions in place which have subsequently led to damage and a plague of potholes on the B772 through Waterbeck.

One resident said: “It’s all smoke and mirrors. Is either the council or SP Energy Networks ever going to take responsibility and are any repairs ever going to actually take place?

“It sounds like it could end up costing £2 million at this rate to repair. What would the price have been if they had sorted it out when this first occurred four years ago?”