VILLAGERS have appealed for financial help to fix a pothole-riddled road after being told bin lorries would no longer use it.

Frustrated homeowners living next to the crumbling stretch of South Parade, in Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington, face a £4,000 bill to cover repair costs every four years as no council authority owns the disintegrating road.

A fruitless search to trace the unadopted country lane’s true owner has forced 12 households to ask Croft-on-Tees Parish Council for £500 during a special meeting.

Villagers have been told to put their bins at a collection point, close to Croft CE Primary School’s entrance.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We will take our bins to the end of the road, but the council will have to deal with the complaints from homeowners and people driving vehicles going to the school and turning around there.

“Every other Tuesday there’s going to be 28 different bins along there. I’m not sure how that will work.

“Quite often the pavement is already blocked by cars parked on it so people have to use the road to walk along it and it’s quite dangerous.

“We all bought into living on a country lane, but we would appreciate any help or advice on what to do next.

“The total estimate amount is £12,000 to resurface it, but not with tarmac – it’s about £70,000 to get it up to the council’s standard.

“There could be an argument that we don’t fix it at all, but it’s a nightmare for us.”

North Yorkshire County Council, which deals with highways and potholes, has rejected covering the cost of repairing the road and Richmondshire District Council’s Councillor Sam Gibbs stated his authority would not be in a position to adopt the lane.

But Wednesday evening’s meeting (April 20), threw any parish council funding into doubt after councillors had previously agreed to a low reserves budget for this financial year.

Croft-on-Tees Parish Council’s clerk, Geoff Bosworth, told members and residents it would be “quite difficult” to grant the request.

He said: “We’ve got reserves of £900 which I’ve said to the councillors is about as low as we can go.

“We tend to spend this money on the children’s Christmas party or one-off events like the Alice and Wonderland celebrations last year, so if we used the money for this it would be a bit of a departure from the norm.

“I’ve worked it out that £500 from us would cost each household around £1.70 – our usual service costs are around £17 a year, but this would raise it up.

“Because we keep our reserves fairly low, it’s quite difficult at this time of year as we ask for precepts in January after looking at the programme and deciding on what we’ll spend it on at the back end of each year.”

The parish councillors will announce their final decision at their next council meeting in May.