Residents of Fownhope and drivers that used to regularly use the B4224 have shared their frustration after it was confirmed that work on the road may not finish until Easter at the earliest.

The road has remained closed since the devastating floods of February 2020. Herefordshire Council is set to launch an independent investigation into the delays.

Fownhope Village earlier shared a letter on Facebook that they had received from Balfour Beatty:

Firstly please accept my apology for not responding sooner to your requests for an update on completion date for the Stone Cottage works but wanted to ensure I had the most up to date and correct information to share.

The works have been progressing at Stone Cottage and whilst we have now completed the soil nailing, for a number of reasons, we will no longer be able to reopen the B4224 in February 2021. The soil nailing took slightly longer than anticipated due to some localised movement between two layers of soil during the installation of the last layer of soil nailing. This has no impact on the overall integrity of the solution but has meant increasing the number of soil nails by eleven with supporting concrete stabilisation work.

In addition, we have identified a problem with the planned method for lifting in the sections of the parapet wall that will run along the western boundary of the highway. The planned method can no longer be achieved within the actual constraints of this site. We have explored all alternatives and found a solution to this problem, but the solution will unfortunately take more time.

As a result we now forecast completion for Easter subject to the impact of any events such as more extreme weather and Covid 19. We recognise this will be disappointing news and are continuing to look at ways of reducing the time that it will now take until the road is reopened. We will continue to keep you updated and informed through our regular newsletter updates.

Local residents then reacted to the news by saying:

Donna Marie Fox – ‚ÄúOutrageous. We are all sick to death of having to drive via Haugh Woods and Woolhope. The roads there are appalling. How can this possibly take more time to fix?‚ÄĚ

Juliet Gallagher – ‚ÄúAs it‚Äôs now over 12 months I hope all businesses affected will be claiming compensation.‚ÄĚ

Lesley McGuire – ‚ÄúIs there a penalty clause within the contract?‚ÄĚ