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Badger sett damage causes Leigh pavement closure

Badger sett damage causes Leigh pavement closure

SECTIONS of pavement in Leigh have been closed due to ground damage caused by badgers’ setts.

“Concerns for public safety” have led to the pavement in Cliff Parade, between Leigh Hill and Avenue Road, and a small section between the junction of Cliff Parade, Sea Reach and Cliff Parade in Leigh, to be closed until further notice.

Despite the council working with Natural England for two years to move the badgers on and undertake repairs, the mammals are reluctant to be safely rehomed.

Steven Wakefield, cabinet member for highways, transport and parking, said: “Public safety is our number one priority and until we can make safe and stabilise the road and pavement, the closure will have to remain in place.

“The council (Southend) has not been able to carry out the necessary repairs to the road and pavement because the area is on top of a badger sett, and whilst we have been working with Natural England for two years to try and move the sett, the badgers have shown a great reluctance to move on.

“From March we can apply for a permit with Natural England and if approved, we are confident that we have a plan that will see the badgers safely moved on and work to repair the road and pavement start.

“We apologise for any inconvenience; updates will be provided on the council’s social media accounts.”

There are also are fears that parts of the road could collapse, The badgers’ undermining activity is causing an “ongoing deterioration” of the road, which is already subject to instability with land slips.

Leigh Lib Dem councillor Peter Wexham, explained: “The badgers are causing a problem with the road and pavements and the road could collapse because the badgers are burrowing underneath it. They have opened up a big area and it’s enough to cause a problem.

“It’s now breeding season and it could take until the summer to get them out. The road and pavement is dropping, so the council is stopping vehicles and people using it.

“It will cause inconvenience.”

As a result of the closure, pedestrians are asked to use the path on the northern side of Cliff Parade, which will remain open.

Cliff Parade will be under traffic signal control for the duration of the closure. Access in and out of Seaview Road onto Cliff Parade will also be suspended to ease congestion.

Any other planned highway works in the area will be altered to accommodate for the lane closure and to minimise disruption.

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