Over many years Cornford Lane has been, and continues to be, damaged by the traffic using it. Once a single track road for its entire length, the ancient hedgerows have been pushed back with roots exposed and repeatedly driven over, and the earth banks have been eroded such that they are unstable in places - in one place causing a land slip which obstructed the lane - and leaving large and dangerous potholes and broken road edges which, year on year have been expanded into the roadside banks and hedgerows.
These are then covered with tarmac but because there is no kerbing in much of the lane this is soon broken up by over-sized vehicles and quickly reverts to potholes again.
In one section where the road is considerably higher than the adjacent field, the damage had been so extensive that there was a real danger of a vehicle leaving the road completely and rolling down into the adjacent field some 5 feet below. Other similar sections are subsiding rapidly.
The damage to the road surface, verges and hedges is caused by all types and sizes of vehicles. In some parts of the lane it is not possible for even two small cars to pass - even though they sometimes try, mounting and damaging the verges and breaking the roadside posts.
But it is the larger vehicles that really cause the damage. Vans, now frequent in the lane, cannot pass each other in much of the lane and cause frequent gridlocks, but they have no hesitation in running up and over the verges where they can.
HGV's ignore the 6'6'' limit signs and cause utter gridlock chaos and take huge chunks out of the roadside.
The scale of damage reached such a level that new kerbs had to be installed to prevent further loss. However vehicles drive up and over the new kerbs and continued to cause damage to the newly-reinstated earth banks, and many of the wooden posts installed to protect the banks have become damaged.
In total these repair works cost over £30,000, over a third of which was paid for directly by Cornford Lane residents.
However, budget could only allow the repair work to be carried out on some sections of the lane, and those parts that remain unprotected continue to be damaged and eroded at an ever-increasing rate. These will require further work and expenditure to repair.
In one place an oak tree has had a considerable amount of its roots exposed and a area of its bark has been removed by collisions with high-sided vehicles and the exposed wood has now rotted. Its upper branches are now diseased and parts of them fall into the road below. The tree will most probably now die and will require future work to carry out its safe removal. Other trees are suffering a similar fate.
And damage to residents' property is continuous. Parked cars and fences bordering the road are frequently damaged. There have been at least 6 incidents of non-trivial damage to resident's cars, totalling over £5000 in repairs, in all cases the drivers did not stop or leave their details, whilst land supporting gardens with terraces and hedges is collapsing as it becomes undercut.