Unauthorised hole creates a major storm

editorial image

COUNCILLORS and residents in Carnoustie are furious with contractor Brown Construction after workers dug up a hefty chunk of the newly resurfaced Dundee Street adjacent to the former Kinloch School site.

The company is carrying out a major housing and community centre project there.

Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd was angry that a two-metre hole had been dug in the road which had been tarred just a few days before.

He told the Guide & Gazette: “I am furious with what has happened to the newly resurfaced Dundee Street - the road contractors had not even finished before Brown Construction started to dig up the road.

“The yellow lines were only painted last weekend then they started digging three days later. I would imagine the paint wasn’t totally dry. To add insult to injury they spray-painted yellow lines to cover up the mess.

“Did they think the residents of Carnoustie would not notice?”

Councillor Boyd said that he had received countless telephone calls about the incident.

He continued: “It has taken a lot of lobbying to get our main artery through the town resurfaced then this happens after four days. It is not acceptable.

“I checked the guidelines only two weeks ago as I was worried that this situation might arise. Section 56 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 clearly states contractors should obtain permission of councils to allow roads to be excavated - this has not happened.

“Digging deeper into the Act I cannot find anywhere that states councils can fine any culprit, which is disappointing as far as I am concerned.

“Unfortunately I feel companies will only continue with these practices then the council gets large bills, and the blame, as the life of the road is seriously reduced due to all the patches.”

Councillor Helen Oswald was similarly surprised that the road had been dug up.

She commented “It beggars belief that a newly laid road surface could be dug up by a building contractor working adjacent to the road, and who would quite clearly have seen the resurfacing work going on. If this had been an emergency, a gas leak for instance, then I think it could have been accepted, but I believe this wasn’t the case.

“But we now find ourselves in the ridiculous situation where a newly laid road surface has been dug up almost before it has been driven on and we all know what happens to a patch on the road surface - that’s where the next hole comes from when the patch starts to shrink or is affected by bad weather.

“At the end of the day, I suppose all the contractor can do is say “sorry”, but somehow that doesn’t seem to address the incompetence here.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd., who are carrying out building works at Kinloch, Carnoustie excavated a section of the newly resurfaced road at Dundee Street without prior discussion with the council’s roads division.

“The matter has been taken up with the contractor who will reinstate the road surface as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience caused to motorists by the contractor’s actions.”

Speaking for Brown Construction, contract director Keith Coull said: “ Brown Construction would like to offer a general apology to anyone who has been inconvenienced by us digging a hole in Dundee Street without the appropriate permission.

“Quite simply, it was a mistake.”