‘Repairs to Stratford Road potholes have taken too long and it’s caused accidents’

A Sandy resident claims Central Beds Council has neglected a popular bridleway for too long, causing “nasty accidents” along its path.

The man contacted the Chronicle because he is concerned about a stretch of Stratford Road which he believes is in a state of “total disrepair” and alleges that work was last organised by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity in 2016.

Stratford Road bridleway is a popular route for cyclists, runners, walkers and visitors to the RSPB Reserve.

Stratford Road bridleway is a popular route for cyclists, runners, walkers and visitors to the RSPB Reserve.

He told the Chronicle: “Stratford Road has been rendered useless to many, including those who have disabilities or are elderly.

“Over Christmas there was an incident where an elderly lady fell and cut her head.

“Prior to that there was a nasty accident where a cyclist fell and suffered cuts, bruises, and other injuries.”

He added: “With all the building work in and around Biggleswade and the added revenues CBC are getting from community charge, planning costs, central government, there is obviously a need to invest in infrastructure – not least green space and and leisure facilities.

“By comparison, the cost of maintaining a bridleway is inconsequential in comparison with facilities such a leisure centres; it is a low cost investment with a high level of benefit to the community.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “With just shy of the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats of footpaths and bridleways on our patch, problems will arise in between our regular inspections. We welcome members of the public telling us of issues and move swiftly to deal with them.

“This bridleway was re-surfaced with gravel in October 2016 [in conjunction with Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity], designed only for use by horses, walkers and cyclists.

“We suspect the damage was caused by motor vehicles using it which is illegal.”

The spokesman added: “We’ve now inspected it after the issues were brought to our attention shortly before Christmas and have a repair plan in place.”

The man also told the Chronicle that a CBC Highways officer informed him that the work will involve filling the pot holes with recycled road planings.