Move to finally settle unadopted road row in Epworth

Residents of Turbary Road, Epworth, are unhappy about the amount of potholes on the road. Picture: Andrew Roe
Residents of Turbary Road, Epworth, are unhappy about the amount of potholes on the road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Epworth town councillors are to request a further meeting with North Lincolnshire Council, over a road row that has rumbled on for years.

The debate over the re-surfacing of potholed and unadopted Turbary Road has been rife since 2006.

The town council allocated cash to re-surface the road that services 25 properties, but the process was hampered after intervention by North Lincolnshire Council, because the road is also a public footpath used by townspeople and walkers.

There is concern over who would pay for maintenance of the road, and town councillors spoke of their confusion over mention of a section 137 restriction under the Local Government Act that appears to limit expenditure on the road to £250.

Coun Bob Fish said: “The council has given far more disproportionate amounts of money to other such schemes in the past,” and Coun Lindley asked: “They don’t limit funds for the footpath in the cemetery so why has 137 suddenly become important ... surely you spend what a job costs to do.”

Coun Eddie Mardell said: “The difficulty is that we own the land and North Lincolnshire Council owns the rights to the footpath on top. We should ask North Lincolnshire Council to do the work to a decent standard then pay them back at £250 a year perhaps?”

Mr Fish added that he is not an advocate of tarmac as other surfaces such as geo-textile could be more suitable for the road that has become something of a “slough”.

Chairman Coun Don Stewart said: “We have got to work with North Lincs Council and we need to work together on this. It seems wrong that they maintain footpaths all over North Lincolnshire ... then why not Turbary? I’m happy to call another meeting with them and try to go forward together.”

It was agreed that a further meeting with a representative or party from North Lincolnshire Council should be requested, to take place in the near future in a bid to get the matter settled finally to the satisfaction of residents.

A spokesperson for North Lincolnshire Council said: “Epworth Town Council owns the land over which the track known as Turbary Road runs.

“This is a private road on which there is also a public footpath. North Lincolnshire Council is required to maintain the route only to a standard suitable for its use as a footpath.

“Epworth Town Council has for some time been exploring options to improve the road for use by motor vehicles. We have offered assistance to them throughout this process.”