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if I call the Highways Agency emergency number? Does this count as an emergency or not?

(19 Posts)

I live in a small village that's on the bank of a fairly big river, in a valley. There's a main road that follows the river along the valley for about 15 miles. Our house (and about 20 others in the village) are reached from a lane that turns off the main road at a very sharp and steep angle. Above the lane, there's a wooded bank.

The bank is very steep and earlier this year a tree fell down the bank. Since then there have been two large boulders (4ft + in size) fall down, one narrowly missing a car. Its really clearly destabilised by the recent rain and there are some boulders/big trees that have started to look like they are coming loose. Today, a load of mud and small stones/rocks fell down but hasn't actually blocked the lane yet.

The HA and council have been made aware and come out to look, but done nothing. I don't know who owns the bank itself but the road is a public road so they must have some responsibility to keep it safe? The main road down the valley has been blocked by major landslides several times in the last few years, most recently when a boulder the size of a bus (no joke!) fell onto it last month, luckily nobody was injured.

It looks like a whole lot more of the bank is ready to fall, and if it does it will kill anyone in its path. Due to the steepness (?) of the lane, there's a drop on one side to the main road so no escape route (and no other way to reach the houses up here, that lane is the ONLY way in and out of this part of the village and it is a dead end) The river runs alongside the main road so if debris fell down there it could sweep cars into the river.

I have just emailed the HA and filled in a report on the council website - would IBU to ring the HA emergency no, given that it isn't an emergency yet but I really don't think it is safe and am quite frankly scared of driving down there?

Northernlurker Fri 14-Dec-12 16:44:21

YANBU. It sounds very dangerous. I think the safest thing might be to close the road tbh. There won't be much they can do tonight.

I'm not sure they can close it tbh - it is the only way to reach the houses up here and some of them are a mile or so up the hill. There's no other road up here, and it is a dead end (our house is the last one!)

I am going to ring them now though as it is scarily loose looking.

Northernlurker Fri 14-Dec-12 16:50:28

They can and will close it if it isn't safe. No matter how much of a pita that is it's better than being under several tons of hillside!

OddBoots Fri 14-Dec-12 17:01:47

That sounds like an emergency to me, do call. Be ready to answer 100 questions though.

MrsHoarder Fri 14-Dec-12 17:03:36

If its not a through road then its not a Highways Agency route and they can't do anything, you need to bother your local council (who are the Highway Authority for your area).

Abzs Fri 14-Dec-12 17:17:35

When a hole opened up in the pavement on my route home from work - 4inches at the surface, 4feet underneath - I called the non emergency police number who arranged for someone to come out and dump a cone on top of it. It was a sunday evening so I suppose that's not bad really...

Next I reported it to the council (trunk road, so not their problem) and BEAR Scotland who were long winded but did at least put some barriers round it the next day. Then took over a week to fix it.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 14-Dec-12 17:18:13

Phone 101, it's what we do for fallen/near falling trees and has always had a good response.

specialsubject Fri 14-Dec-12 17:18:56

If the council are asleep try the non-emergency police number 101 - worth 15p I think. They will know who should know.

So I rang the HA who told me to ring the district council, so I rang the council who were closed (shut at 4.30 on Fridays!), so I rang the emergency council number and was told to ring the county council, who were closed by then.

You really think 101? I just don't know what they could do, other than maybe putting a cone or two there, which will be no help at all as people HAVE to drive past the bank, there is no other way in or out of this end of the village.

It needs to have all the loose boulders removed and the wonky trees felled ASAP but I suppose its unrealistic to think that will be done quickly, even though imo it needs doing tomorrow morning if not tonight. Its just scary watching it get worse just in the hour we were out today.

Acekicker Fri 14-Dec-12 19:23:40

There should be an emergency number for the county council on their website somewhere, I've rung hours at 4am in the morning when some temporary traffic lights outside my house blew over into the road, I was woken by the screech of brakes and horns as two cars nearly collided. They were out within an hour which I thought was pretty good given I live an hour away from the HQ

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 14-Dec-12 19:27:44

If you cant get hold of anyone at the council, then 101 definitely. That's what that number is there for, and your call would be a lot more important than many they receive on 999!

blackteaplease Fri 14-Dec-12 19:31:00

You could also try the environment agency. They own some banks and are responsible for upkeep of those that they own.

quoteunquote Fri 14-Dec-12 19:31:49

101 the police need to know fast.

blackteaplease Fri 14-Dec-12 19:33:26

Sorry. Just Reread op and its a hill notation river bank. Agree with pp to call police 101 and keep pestering council.

I got hold of the county council Highways Emergency team in the end. They sent someone out to have a look today, who then rang me to say that they had put some cones by the worst bit (wtf good will three cones do if tens of tonnes of boulders and mud fall down??) and that in their opinion 'some loose material is still washing down' but they feel it is no cause for concern.

I pointed out the the stuff washing down is from underneath some rather large rock slabs and therefore it is destabilising the whole area even further and he said there was nothing more he could do at the moment as the road itself wasn't blocked so it wasn't really a highways matter.

We had to drive past it earlier on the way to town and it is worse overnight, loads of mud and stones are sliding down and piling up at the side of the lane.

twinklesparkles Sat 15-Dec-12 15:13:28


That sounds really unsafe sad

Stay safe hun, be careful out there

nannyl Sat 15-Dec-12 15:42:02


Let's hope they actually fix it before a tragic accident occurs

Arithmeticulous Sat 15-Dec-12 15:56:00

Have you got photos? Local reporters on Twitter would love this sort of thing. Local councillors too - actually there's a better idea than journalists - the councillor would love to be able to claim credit for saving you wink

Tweet a photo, hashtag your local town, forward to the local paper and councillor.

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