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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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North Cumbrian road to be closed for up to eight weeks for sewer repairs

A Carlisle village faces weeks of disruption while its main road is closed so contractors can repair sewers which were installed just a few years ago.

Road closure sign photo
Moorhouse road closure notice

United Utilities has confirmed that the main road through Moorhouse, to the west of the city, will close for eight weeks from next Monday so that the leaking sewer pipes can be repaired.

A local businessman, whose journey to work will be lengthened by at least four miles, says the job should have been done properly in the first place.

John Walker, who runs an funeral directors business with a partner in Wigton Road, Carlisle, said: “When they put in the sewer we were diverted along minor back roads.

“They’re barely wide enough for cars. Now we’re going to have to use those roads again. It’s a lot of nuisance and a lot of expense.”

Mr Walker, from Thurstonfield, said the company should compensate residents who will have to pay for extra petrol to get to and from Carlisle.

In Moorhouse village, residents seemed untroubled by the looming disruption.

Judith Foggerty, 71, who has lived there for 12 years, said: “Last time they dug the road up we were lucky because we were still able to park. But they obviously didn’t do a very good job. It must be costing the thousands.”

Polly Rourke, from United Utilities, said the contractor who originally installed the sewers will repair them the firm’s own expense.

She said: “The work is linked to a new pipeline we installed between 2009 and 2011 to link Moorhouse and some surrounding villages to the mains sewer network for the first time.

“Previously, all properties – about 60 of them – were connected to private septic tanks which were having a detrimental effect on the local environment.

“It was a big engineering scheme at the time which has already had major benefits for the environment as well as householders themselves.

“Unfortunately, problems have come to light with the original pipeline installation. A number of joints are leaking, allowing groundwater to get into the system.

“We completely understand why people are unhappy. In recognition of this, we have not charged them any sewerage fees as part of their water bill since the project was completed and they will not be liable for fees until everything is put right.

“The road closure will start on Monday and last for up to eight weeks. A diversion will be in place, but local short cuts are available for safe drivers. Except where we are working directly outside people’s homes, access will be maintained to properties inside the road closure. We will write to individuals when our work will affect them personally.”

She said the project team and customer service staff would keep people informed.

The work will take place on the B5307 between Langwath Cottage and The Bow. Once complete, a further short four-week road closure will be needed on Monkhill Road, to improve access to a control kiosk. This will not affect through traffic on the B5307.

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