A ROW has broken out over a huge puddle that is said to be a safety hazard to drivers and cyclists.
A large crater has formed in the lay-by outside the entrance to council allotments in Horsepond Road, Gallowstree Common.
When it rains, the 1ft deep hole fills with water and sometimes floods the road.
Sonning Common Parish Council, which owns the allotments, asked Oxfordshire County Council to install a soakaway but has been told no action is likely “in the foreseeable future”.
Parish clerk Philip Collings said allotment holders who parked in the lay-by had been caught out by the depth of the crater. He said: “We have had at least three cars getting stuck in it. We are worried that in the winter a cyclist might try to go right through it. It is very dangerous and should not be allowed. It is a hazard to road users.”
Mr Collings said a soakaway would solve the problem and he had asked Councillor Carol Viney, who represents Sonning Common on the county council, to see if the work could be paid for out of her locality budget but there were insufficient funds.
He added that cyclists taking part in next year’s Challenge Henley triathlon event could be put at risk if the race was routed through the village. Parish council chairmam Douglas Kedge added: “That puddle has been there a long time and it has got deeper and deeper over the years.
“It is very difficult to get into the allotments through it. We feel the county council has a responsibility to help us solve this.”
A county council spokesman said the puddle was on the verge and not part of the highway.
He said: “This is a piece of verge that drivers have been using, possibly unofficially, over time to access the adjacent allotments.
“This has caused considerable damage which allows water to ‘pond off’ the carriageway surface.
“Our priority is to deal with problems on the highway for the benefit of road users. As the water is not on the road, it is unlikely that we will be able to take any action in the foreseeable future.”