A Suffolk man left footing a bill of almost £700 for a temporary pavement he did not want has criticised Suffolk County Council’s highways department for a “lack of common sense”.
Monks Eleigh resident Peter Day said he was hit by “over the top” regulations last month, when he was required to install a coned-off footpath with ramps outside his house for 16 days, while he had scaffolding up to carry out repairs on his roof.
He was later charged £690 for its installation by contractor Kier, on behalf of Suffolk County Council, with the costs being higher because staff had to keep coming back due to cars being in the way.
Mr Day argued the permanent pavement blocked by the scaffolding was just 40cm wide and was hardly ever used.
“It’s just the absurdity of it,” Mr Day told the Free Press. “It’s completely over the top.
“They don’t seem to apply any common sense. All the people I spoke to in the village thought it was unnecessary and caused a lot of disruption.
“I was just trying to maintain my house. I couldn’t use a ladder because it would have been dangerous.
“I’m nearly £700 down for something I didn’t want. I don’t see why I should pay for the failed attempts to put something up that people don’t want in the first place.”
Suffolk County Councillor Robert Lindsay, who tried to help Mr Day resolve the issue, said he believed the amount of work to install the temporary pavement did not seem proportionate.
However, he was told by the highways engineer who supervised its installation that he had to stick to the letter of the highways code.
Cllr Lindsay said: “There appears to be no flexibility in the way this sort of work is managed to allow common sense to play a part.
“Mr Day tells me he will have to borrow the money to pay for this and will have to pay interest. He is not aware of anyone using the temporary pavement during its short life.”