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Forres Police House residents claim neither Moray Council or Police Scotland will mend deteriorating road outside their property

By Staff Reporter

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Margo Race of 4 Police Houses wants someone to take responsibility for the deteriorating surface between the police station and Victoria Road.
Margo Race of 4 Police Houses wants someone to take responsibility for the deteriorating surface between the police station and Victoria Road.

RESIDENTS of a street with shared boundaries claim it has been left to deteriorate because of confusion over the responsibility for its upkeep.

Margo Race of 4 Police Houses, adjacent to Victoria Road, reported a seriously deteriorated tarred public surface outside her house to the police authorities two years ago, but claims the problem has gotten worse.

She said: “The roots from trees on grass across from our houses are lifting the road – local kids use it as a ramp! There is a big split on the surface. It’s worst outside numbers 3 and 4. It’s not Moray Council’s problem as it’s classed as a ‘white road’ so it’s never gritted or maintained by the local authority.”

The area of grass between Victoria Road and the road in front of Forres Police Station belongs to the police estate, including the trees. The large trees are protected by legislation, which limits work which can be carried out.

Margo said: “Police Houses 3, 4, 5 and 6 are responsible for 10.5 per cent of road repairs due to normal wear and tear. The other two were not purchased from Grampian Police Authority, but have a right of access with no financial implications. We wanted a sign up saying ‘Residents only parking’ but weren’t allowed as the police need access too.”

Tree roots are tearing the road apart.
Tree roots are tearing the road apart.

Margo hopes the issue will be addressed before the worst of the winter weather, but Police Scotland point out that work has already been done.

A police spokesperson said: “Repairs and remedial works have been carried out in the area, including relaying the road surface, repairing drains and cutting back larger tree roots. Most recently, works have been carried out to reinstate a grass verge, clean gutters and surface drains.

“Last year, a drain survey was carried out – it was found that the tree routes had penetrated clay waste pipes and was slowing flow to the main sewer. We carried out remedial work to cut back the tree roots and are in the process of fitting the drain with plastic lining. This work has been carried out by contractors at the cost of police, with no charge to local residents.

“We would encourage anyone with concerns about any issues affecting the police estate to report it to allow the matter to be assessed and any essential repairs or further work will be arranged as required.”

Margo confirms the sewer work has been completed and liners installed, but disputes other aspects of the police spokesperson’s account of repairs. She also points out that the original relaying of the road for the same problem was around 10 years ago.

She said: “The offending tree root was not removed but merely sliced through, hence it seems to have rejoined and grown back. The drain covers at the police station end were uncovered and cleaned, but have since been covered by detritus again.

“The tree root/road problem was reported two years ago and has been hastened by residents. We await the outcome of any physical assessment which, as far as we understand, has not yet been undertaken.”

Meanwhile, Margo’s neighbour at 6 Police Houses has a letter from the council dated 1995 that he claims proves the road directly outside the police station is the local authority’s responsibility.

He said: “It would be interesting to see if the council is taking their responsibility seriously as the road outside my property has obviously been neglected.”

The Gazette forwarded the documentation to the council but at the time of writing had no reply.

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