Motorist ‘threatened to kill’ workmen on flood-hit Bestwood road

AN angry motorist threatened to kill workmen struggling to stop flooding of Moor Road, Bestwood Village, it was claimed at a meeting of the parish council this week.

The driver lost his temper because the road was closed at the ‘dip’ near the boundary with Bulwell. It was re-opened last Friday after being shut for more than two weeks.

The flooding is found to have been due to a blockage in a drain which runs along the railway embankment about 150 metres from Moor Road.

Coun Chris Barnfather, a Conservative member of Notts County Council, whose ward includes Bestwood Village, said workmen from the council’s highways department had faced an impossible task because of persistent heavy rain.

“As fast as they pumped water away, the road was inundated again,” he added.

Coun Barnfather told the meeting that impatient drivers removed the ‘Road closed’ barriers, with the result that cars got stuck in the deep floodwater and had to be towed out.

“On one occasion, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service had to attend the scene and get people off the roof of a stranded car,” he added.

Coun Barnfather said the county council could not apologise enough to Bestwood residents, who had to make a long detour via Papplewick and Hucknall to get out of the village.

“But it is totally unfair that the workmen had to suffer verbal abuse when they were doing their best to enable Moor Road to re-open and working in terrible conditions,” he stressed.

Coun Barnfather said he visited the flooding site on Saturday November 29 and it was thought at teatime that the road could be opened.

“But we noted that more heavy rain was forecast for later that evening, so it was decided to keep the road closed on health and safety grounds,” he told the meeting.

The parish council chairman, Coun Denis Beeston, produced council correspondence dating back to April 2010 to prove he had repeatedly raised his concerns about flooding of Moor Road with the county council’s district highways manager, Ian Parker.

Coun Beeston said he was owed an apology by a member of the public who accused him of not caring about the road being blocked to traffic.

Coun Barnfather emphasised that Coun Beeston visited the site every day during the flooding and could not have done more in his attempts to get the road re-opened.

The county council’s officer for surface-water flooding, Andy Wallace, told the meeting that as a short-term measure, a trench had been dug alongside where the blockage had occurred, which meant that high-pressure water could flow direct into the River Leen.

But Coun Barnfather said: “We are operating on private land, in effect trespassing. In the longer term, we need to find out who owns the land, which is something we do not yet know.”

Excavations started on the site after the county council sent letters to nearby residents to say access to the site would be required.

A man at the meeting said residents had been unhappy about a lack of information during the fortnight when the road was closed.