County slaps closure notice on collapsed road until August 2014
A road which collapsed at the end of last year may not be fixed until August 2014.
The unclassified stretch of road partly collapsed on December 31.
Even though only half of the road was affected, a Devon County Council highways team dug a trench right across the full width of road at George Nympton Cross between South Molton and Chulmleigh and it is now impassable.
Now a notice has been put up nearby saying a temporary prohibition of through traffic will be in place on the road from this Monday until Sunday, August 10, 2014.
Devon County Council did not respond to a question from local newspaper the North Devon Journal whether the work would really take 18 months to complete.
Nearby residents say the road closure is causing a lot of inconvenience. Beverley Jones, who owns Sampson Barton Guest House in Kings Nympton, says the closure has caused delays for her customers and for lorries trying to deliver to her property.
"It's appalling," she added. "At the moment we can't even get into South Molton.
"It is extra mileage, extra petrol. Yesterday we had a delivery and it took the delivery man an hour and a half to get to us from South Molton because his sat-nav directed him down that road.
"If you follow the diversion you end up God knows where. How on earth will people get here? It just puts people off.
"We have had people ring up for the restaurant and I have had to refuse them because I don't know if they'll get here."
Ms Jones said it was unacceptable that rural areas were not given more priority by the county council.
"It is absolutely ridiculous," she added. "We pay our council tax the same as everyone else.
"To be honest we just feel at a total loss. Once again because we have chosen to come and live out here in a rural farmhouse we are being penalised. Is our money not as good as anybody else's?"
Carol Ainsworth, who lives nearby at Caplecombe Farm, is also concerned. She said the effects of the road closure have been made worse by the recent floods.
"They dug a ditch right across," she said. "They had to do that because it was dangerous, but it is an absolute pain.
"When you have floods as well it is even worse. We have to go miles round to get into South Molton. If it is going to be that long before anything is done it will be horrible."