Blocked-off Brian cries foul over hole

Brian Atkinson of Church Road, St Annes, who has been unable to get out of his drive for four days
Brian Atkinson of Church Road, St Annes, who has been unable to get out of his drive for four days
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A disgruntled home owner was left unable to drive away from his home after a hole was suddenly dug across his gates by workmen.

Brian Atkinson, 75, has had to resort to buses, taxis and lifts from friends since Saturday after his Ford Mondeo estate was left trapped on his driveway.

The hole was dug on the pavement outside Mr Atkinson’s detached bungalow in Church Road, St Annes by workmen from National Grid as part of their investigations into a reported gas leak in the area.

But it meant he has been unable to use his own transport since he arrived home at the start of the weekend from a trip out with a friend to find his gate blocked and his car trapped inside.

The retired lecturer’s greatest frustration came on Sunday when he had to take the bus to Lytham to carry out his duties playing the organ at St Peter’s RC Church and he said: “I am amazed and disgusted that I have been left in this situation.

“I had been out in town for an hour with a friend last Saturday. When he dropped me back, my gate had been blocked by this hole but there were no workmen to be seen and I have been unable to get my car out since.

“I presumed it was a follow-up to their investigations over a gas leak we had reported a week earlier but after than initial emergency visit, we didn’t see anyone for days and there was no warning that they were going to come and dig in front of my drive.

“A crew called back briefly on Tuesday and promised me it was being sorted but went away again and I was still unable to use my car four days later.”

A spokesman for National Grid said: “We were called to investigate a gas escape on May 31 and it took our engineers a few days to locate the position of the leak outside Mr Atkinson’s house. He wasn’t home when our engineers were preparing to excavate to start the repair on the leak but, for safety reasons, we couldn’t delay the work.

“We do appreciate that we have caused him considerable inconvenience and we wholeheartedly apologise for this.

“In these situations it is important that we put people’s personal safety first and stop the gas leak.

“The excavation has been filled in and work to replace the paving stones is being fast tracked.”