NORTH Tawton residents have been putting up with road closures and much inconvenience while many weeks of underground gas pipe replacement works takes place.

This week there has been some considerable works and road closures in the North Street and Square areas.

North Street in North Tawton, where it is proposed that the road is closed for several weeks.
North Street in North Tawton, where it is proposed that the road is closed for several weeks. (submitted)

It is understood that this work could take up to two weeks.

It has caused considerable difficulty for many residents, some having to drive around a single track road for eight or nine miles to gain access to their properties on the other side of North Street.

In addition, National Grid has written to residents of North Street saying that it is proposing to close the road to install a new electricity cable under the road to a new development.

It says this work will take place from November 13 to December 22.

David Hitchen, who lives in North Tawton, said: “Emergency services and refuse collections cannot get through, we cannot get supermarket food deliveries, it is just not good enough.

“There are a lot of elderly people and families who live here, there is the Bowling Club and a garage, we are all affected.

“When National Grid close the road we will only be able to access our homes via Bondleigh.

“Roads should be kept open where they can and plates put over holes in the road so that people can get home.

“There are so many of us really affected by this and now we have more to look forward to, it is having a large knock-on effect.”

Angela Belsten and Jonathan Boog said: “We live in Bouchiers Close and are very concerned about substantial works that have commenced today at the entrance to North Street that are blocking access to and from roads and homes beyond North Street.

“We understand this is a two-week exercise and that the team will work for an eight-hour-day and only four-days-a-week, which means this work is not expedited.

“National Grid have also sent a letter with their reference 4548134 saying they will be closing the same stretch of road in North Street in the period from November 13 to December 22 in order to install new electric cable.

“Why can’t the two lots of work be performed at the same time, and if such an emergency, having teams working 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, to complete the works as soon as possible?

“The works are causing major disruption for people trying to go about their normal day-to-day business, but also of major concern there are a number of elderly and infirm neighbours that have required emergency services, which services will now have a nine mile diversion to contend with, on single track country lanes where there are very few passing points for vehicles.

“Some of our neighbours require daily and nightly assistance from care nurses from outside of the area. Those care nurses are not familiar with alternative routes.

“You will therefore understand why we are very concerned about how our neighbours will be able to manage during these works.”

North Tawton Town Council has arranged a meeting to discuss the road closures and diversions for North Street, which will take place at North Tawton Bowling Club from 7.30pm on Tuesday, October 24.

Local County Cllr James McInnes and a Devon County Council Highways representative will be attending the meeting.

The public is invited to attend.

It is understood that Devon County Council senior highways management is taking the situation “very seriously”.

It was also understood that the local enforcement officer was reviewing the site on Tuesday, October 17.

Cllr McInnes has raised concerns about the work planning with the county council.