Road to Drybrook stays shut
BUSINESSES in Drybrook are desperately appealing for a key road to the Forest of Dean village to be reopened.
Hawthorns Road has been shut both ways since last November after a landslip caused by the torrential winter downpours.
Some are so desperate for access to be restored that a petition has been launched urging Gloucestershire Highways officials to do all they can to bring the work forward.
Trevor Griffiths owns Overbrook Garage in the road and estimates his trade is down about 20 per cent.
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"Take away all the passing business and it really hits us," he said. "We had a mechanic leave not long ago and we haven't replaced him.
"People living on the Ross side of the road will just find another garage and once they've gone, they're not coming back. It's ridiculous how long it's been shut. We're told it's because a gas main runs along there but nothing seems to be getting done.
"We were told it was going to be fixed in June but no-one came, then September and now we're hearing it won't be done until next year."
Highways bosses have admitted the road is likely to be shut well into 2014 as they search for a solution to the complicated repair job.
Local highways manager Brian Watkins said: "The landslip has affected a 100ft-high embankment and there is a high-pressure gas main that serves 14,000 homes in the Forest of Dean located only half a metre from the edge."