Pub 'badgers' council to open village street

PUBLISHED: 19:01 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 May 2010

MICHELLE HUNTER, landlady at The Queen Adelaide in Croydon. 3122DW011

MICHELLE HUNTER, landlady at The Queen Adelaide in Croydon. 3122DW011

AN unsafe road which was closed after being undermined by a badger sett has now been re-opened. But a nearby pub, whose business has suffered because of the road closure, faces an anxious wait to see if it will recover. The Queen Adelaide, in the High

AN "unsafe" road which was closed after being undermined by a badger sett has now been re-opened.

But a nearby pub, whose business has suffered because of the road closure, faces an anxious wait to see if it will recover.

The Queen Adelaide, in the High Street, Croydon, has been losing trade ever since Cambridgeshire County Council closed the road in April.

Indeed, since May, the pub has remained shut at lunchtimes on Monday and Tuesday.

Of the road closure, landlady Michelle Hunter said: "It got you so down because there was nothing that you could do.

"I phoned the highways department and Natural England every day, and in the end I am sure that they got fed up with me badgering them."

Although the road can now be used, Michelle remains cautious about the future.

"Trade is starting to pick up again and we are trying to let people know that the road has re-opened.

"We are hoping for a good upturn in business and we are going to have a big re-launch party in October."

The High Street was first closed in April, amid fears that the amount of undermining by tunnels could cause the road to cave-in.

When the badgers' sett was excavated, a number of tunnels - some as much as half a metre in diameter - were found.

About 230 tonnes of concrete was used to fill the sett and dozens of badgers - which are protected by law - were relocated with the help of Natural England.

The county council told The Crow that a temporary surface had been laid and that the road is now safe to use.

And a permanent road surface is set to be laid in about three weeks' time.

David Gilkes, the county council's area maintenance engineer, said: "The job of highways is not just to look after the roads, but where and whenever we can, our wildlife too.

"The badgers had extensively undermined the road and made it unsafe for traffic, but as a protected species we could not move them until the right time.

"We had been working closely with wildlife experts to make sure the badgers are moved properly and monitored.

"We have re-opened the road with a temporary service so people could use it as soon as possible rather than cause further disruption.

"We apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused and thank motorists and residents for their patience.

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