Devon village road so bad it's causing havoc for school bus

Potholes on the road into Templeton near Tiverton -Credit:Matthew Palmer
Potholes on the road into Templeton near Tiverton -Credit:Matthew Palmer

Children in a Devon village are reportedly having to find alternative ways to get to school after a school bus has refused to use a badly damaged road surface.

Photos show that the road leading into the small village of Templeton near Tiverton has suffered severe damage, including a number of large potholes. It appears a cone has been placed in one of the potholes as a warning but repairs are yet to be carried out.

It's not the first time the road surface has caused problems for Templeton as it was highlighted by Devon County Council's Mid Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee at a meeting in July 2021. The Committee was advised to treat it as "a matter of urgency" as it was making it difficult for the local school bus to access the village.

In the meeting minutes, it said: "The Chair had decided that, at the request of Councillor Slade, the Committee should consider this item as a matter of urgency due to the condition of the road causing problems for the school bus accessing Templeton. The Committee noted the item and Officers agreed to investigate and liaise with Councillor Colthorpe."

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One local has claimed the school bus is now refusing to pick up children from Templeton due to the state of the road between the village and Stoney Lane Hill. Devon County Council's pothole reporting map shows multiple potholes have been reported along the same road.

Local resident Matthew Palmer said: "Due to potholes not being filled outside Mayfield Farm in Templeton near Tiverton, the school bus is now refusing to use the road and no longer collecting the children from the village. I've been told that Devon County Council are now paying for taxis to take Templeton children to school."

Potholes on the road into Templeton near Tiverton -Credit:Matthew Palmer
Potholes on the road into Templeton near Tiverton -Credit:Matthew Palmer

Devon County Council says on its website that it is "currently dealing with a very high number of pothole reports", following cold and wet weather over the winter months. The authority says it repaired almost 7,000 potholes in January and February alone.

Repairs to potholes with a 40 mm (4 cm) vertical edge and which are 300 mm (30 cm) wide are prioritised. The council says potholes that meet this criteria will be repaired within 28 days, while smaller ones and other road surface issues will be repaired "as and when resources are available".

The authority has confirmed that it was not paying for the taxi service for Templeton schoolchildren. It says they have carried out temporary repairs and that the bus is due to return to its normal route from Monday (April 15).

A Devon County Council spokesperson said: "Following our latest inspection, we have cleared water from the road and carried out a temporary repair of the safety defects. We're also planning to undertake more extensive patching as soon as we can. The bus will return to its normal route from Monday."