Longmeanygate in Leyland has finally reopened after ‘temporary’ repairs have been carried out on a house which was damaged in a fatal traffic incident.
South Ribble Council secured a court order in May requiring the owners of a converted barn on the busy commuter road to make their home safe, allowing the road to be used for the first time since the incident in April last year.
Preston Magistrate’s Court imposed a deadline of Friday, July 25, for Stuart Duffield and Lindsay Cavanagh to complete the work.
The couple previously told the Guardian they had wanted to do the work much sooner, but that insurance negotiations were holding up the progress.
When the deadline arrived, solicitors acting on behalf of the householders said the work – much of it internal - had been carried out on time, but council engineers had to wait until the homeowners were available to allow them access to the property and check that it was structurally sound.
South Ribble Council visited the home at the end of last week and they were satisfied that the ‘immediate danger to the public’ had been removed.
Lancashire County Council then reopened Longmeanygate to traffic over the weekend.
South Ribble’s cabinet member with responsibility for strategic planning and housing, Coun Cliff Hughes, said: “We could see that a supporting strut had been removed from the road last week, but we needed to get inside to be certain that parts of the building wouldn’t collapse.
“Some temporary measures have been taken, which are not to the specifications originally agreed, but we’re satisfied that the work done is enough to remove the threat to public safety at this time.
“Owing to the temporary nature of the repairs, there are still issues to resolve at the property, which are the responsibility of the owners. Therefore they may need to submit applications to the relevant authorities in the future.”
He added: “It has taken far longer than any of us would have liked to sort out, and it has been a hugely frustrating time for many of our residents.
“I’m very relieved that we’ve finally been able to move forward with Lancashire County Council and reopen Longmeanygate.”
Paul Dunne, Lancashire County Council highways manager for South Ribble, said: “We were informed the house had been made safe on Friday and inspected and opened the road on Saturday.
“All fencing, barriers and signs have now been removed and we’re pleased that the road is now fully open for drivers, cyclists and people on foot.”
Councillor for Moss Side and Midge Hall, Mary Green, said: “I am sure the vast majority of the local community will be pleased that the road has finally been re-opened, as the closure has caused inconvenience for many residents.
“It is regrettable that Longmeanygate could not have been re-opened sooner, but the safety of the public had to be secured.
“I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.”
County Councillor for the area, Michael Green, added: “I am pleased that the home owner has now carried out the works to the satisfaction of South Ribble Council and would like to thank everyone who has brought this matter to a conclusion.
“I was pleased to be able to get Lancashire County Council to take all the steps necessary to get the road re-opened within just a day of being informed that the property would no longer cause a risk to road users.
“I am now continuing to work with the County Council to make improvements to reduce the speed of traffic on Longmeanygate, as I firmly believe that the traffic travels at inappropriate speeds along this road.
“I would encourage local residents and road users to contact me with their views regarding this.”
Coun Michael Green can be reached on 01772 423515.