THERE is growing frustration that an historic road near the M50 remains blocked almost two months after a court quashed a council bid to close it.

Gloucestershire County Council was thwarted in October in its attempt to close the 235-yard-long Hanover Green Road, which runs south west from the A417 in Redmarley D’Abitôt.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court found on October 16 that the track was necessary for the public to use, particularly on foot and by motorcycle, and therefore could not extinguish the rights on the basis that it was not needed for public use.

Magistrates accepted it was being used by the public and would be used more if the unlawful obstructions were cleared.

The county council made the application to extinguish public rights at the request of a landowner.

But more than seven weeks later the obstructions remain in situ and highways officers are considering how to safely manage the road, as they claim it has not been usable by traffic for around 50 years.

A recent freedom of information request revealed at least £14,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on external advice and legal fees associated with the case and time spent on the issue specifically recorded for the legal and highways departments at Shire Hall was 138.5 hours.

Local resident Jon Brierley says he is frustrated by the lack of progress. “Aside from a bit of tree clearing, nothing has happened in the almost eight weeks since we went to court,” he said. “We’ve asked questions of the council about timescales and their timeline. 

“They work to these these things, they have them set out already so it’s not like there isn’t protocol for it.”

A county council spokesperson said: “Public Rights of Way (PROW) and highway access roads are incredibly important and we continue to invest in them.

"This includes over £400,000 of new and improved PROW routes connected to the A417.

"This particular case was quite conflicting because while we appreciate there is some limited usage we felt there was a case for closure which is extremely rare, but the court disagreed with us.

“We will of course stand by the court’s ruling, but we will now investigate how to accommodate and safely manage future use, given the route hasn’t been usable by traffic for approximately 50 years.”