Badger sett closes Cotswold village road for nearly three months
Gloucestershire County Council’s highways teams have closed a road near Kempsford for safety reasons after badger sets were found under the carriageway.
A road in the Cotswolds has had to be closed after burrowing badgers removed tonnes of earth from under it, and environmental law means county council highways crews have to wait almost three months to get onsite. Badgers have burrowed under 150m of a country lane between Kempsford and Hannington Wick, meaning the road could collapse at any time and will require intensive structural work to fix the subsidence.
The council has called in badger experts and requested a licence from Natural England so they can explore options to get the road reopened as soon as possible. However it is breeding season for badgers, and crews can not disturb the sett by law until 1 July at the earliest.
The county council assist Air Tattoo event organisers every year to manage traffic in the area, and highways teams aim to reopen the road in time for the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, which takes place nearby on 19 - 21 July.
Liz Kirkham, highways operations manager for Gloucestershire County Council, said, “We know long road closures are frustrating, however we must follow the restrictions from Natural England.
“We have already booked in crews to do the work needed to get the road open again, so I would like to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to plan ahead.”
There is a diversion route in place, and residents in Kempsford can access the village from the opposite direction.
What happens next?
In early July, badger experts will be granted permission to move the animals humanely and safely away from the road. Highways crews can then rebuild the layers of material which support the carriageway, and finally resurfacing the section so it is as good as new. They will be working 24 hours a day for two weeks to complete the work.
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The road is closed to all traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians. There are large holes at the side of the road where walkers could trip and fall, so please find an alternative route.