Carr Lane, Diggle (Photo: Stuart Coleman©2012

Carr Lane in Diggle has, following major repairs, been re-opened to traffic after being closed for over eighteen months but Diggle residents are asking, for how long?

Since the work was completed at the end of June this year the road has been closed twice due to heavy rainfall. The verges on the lane are made from compacted loose stone and rainwater running-off from higher ground has on two separate occasions washed them out. The stone has been deposited across the road lower down the lane leaving the lane impassable. Deep gullies formed down both sides of the lane threatening to undermine the newly laid tarmac and in one instance, a gas main was exposed.

Several residents in Diggle are asking why the road has been left in such a vulnerable condition considering the amount of attention and detail given to the project overall. One Diggle woman asked, ‘Did they run out of money? They used traditional methods and sound engineering to build the walls and bridge and then spoiled it by cutting back on materials at the end.’

A spokesperson from Unity Partnership said, ‘The design of the carriageway was based loosely on the existing situation with a 3m carriageway down the centre.  The design team felt that if the carriageway surfacing had been extended to the walls then it would have encouraged vehicle drivers into thinking that it is a full width road and would try to pass.  With the road being less than 4 metres in places and 3m at the bridge it would have provided an unwanted risk of damage to the retaining walls, the bridge and the vehicles attempting to pass each other.

Due to the steep gradient of Carr Lane, the existing grass verges had to be replaced by stone to ensure that there was compaction of the material.  The grass verges around these lanes take years to develop and trying to artificially create one would have resulted in the soil washing away with a lot less rainfall than it took to wash away the stone.  The stone verges were implemented during the beginning of summer which is the optimum time for the verge to establish itself as there is usually very little inclement weather until winter, and certainly not of the recent magnitude. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened and the rainfall received wasn’t anticipated so quickly following construction.

Following the unfortunate events that took place on Carr Road on Friday 6th July 2012, an investigation of the surface water drainage system on Huddersfield Road, Diggle has been undertaken by United Utilities. This investigation has identified that there is collapsed pipe within the drainage system on Huddersfield Road approximately 2m below Carr Lane.  With the extraordinarily heavy rainfall and the manhole unable to drain, all subsequent manholes and gullies surcharged creating an unprecedented amount of surface water cascading down Huddersfield Road.  Due to the alignment of the Carr Lane / Harrop Green Lane / Huddersfield Road junction the natural path for the surface water was to flow down Carr Lane.  The investigation has also identified that gullies located at the bottom of Harrop Green Lane were filled with silt and unable to take water which also contributed to the increased surface water running down Carr Lane.

United Utilities are carrying out repairs to the collapsed pipe, cleaning surrounding gullies and clearing the debris out of the deep manhole to remove the likelihood of the system surcharging down Carr Lane. Once the stone verges are allowed to establish, then a similar situation should not occur.’

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