Villagers in Exton unhappy with junction repair

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Villagers are angry that they were not informed of repairs to a junction and believe the work is part of the council’s project to boost tourism.

Residents in Exton are unhappy at the work that has been carried out at the triangle-shaped grass junction joining The Avenue, Oakham Road and Cottesmore Road, where Rutland County Council has laid down tarmac where the grass has eroded at the corners.

They say that the council has made the changes to try and create a mini-roundabout for the council’s new tourism bus, Shorelink, which was launched last month.

The council has apologised that it did not inform Exton Parish Council before work started but it insists changes are merely surface repair works to junction.

In a letter to the council, Judith Whitworth, from Exton, said: “I am appalled by the works that have been carried out. You may describe it as minor, but as far as I can see you are creating a roundabout for this bus.

“It seems you have created a real danger point on The Avenue and I sincerely hope you will think again about the route for this bus.”

Grahame Appleby, who lives in Stamford End, Exton, also contacted the council expressing his concern.

He said: “It is a stated aim of the council to increase tourism in Rutland as part of its economic strategy for the county. However, the R2 service already serves the area, and although not objecting to an increase in bus services and visitors, the decision to implement plans that were seemingly not notified either to the parish council or local residents seems somewhat unusual.

“Regardless of my personal views on the matter regarding the rural character and setting of the area, the decision to use a small junction for a bus roundabout appears to me to contradict the council’s other stated aims to protect and enhance the environment.”

The Shorelink bus has 19 stops throughout the county and has been launched to boost tourism in the area, as well as employment, with it operating in the morning and evening.

A spokesman for Rutland County Council said: “A small amount of tidying up work has taken place to a patch of grass at the junction. The corners of the grass triangle had already been eroded by vehicles and the new bits of tarmac cover mainly ground that was already churned up.

“The council has also apologised for not notifying the local parish council in advance of the works. This was an oversight and full details have now been provided.”