CONCRETE barriers have been erected next to a major landslide after reports that motorists were moving bollards keeping them off unstable ground.
People travelling to and from Rothbury are forced to make detours after the B6344, one of the main routes in and out of the village, was closed on Boxing Day when part of the road began to collapse.
It is not known how long the road – the village’s main link to Morpeth – will be closed but business bosses say that diversions are causing problems for customers getting in and out of Rothbury.
Steven Bridgett, county and parish councillor for Rothbury, says that concrete barriers have now been put in place as some people were moving cones and still using the road. He said: “When I visited the site all that was in place were cones blocking off the lane that has the cracks in the road.
“While I was there three vehicles went past heading towards Rothbury by using the other lane. We needed to put something in place that couldn’t physically be moved. Concrete barriers have now been put in place.”
The road has slipped down the embankment in three places within a 300m stretch at Cragend.
Northumberland County Council closed the road between Pauperhaugh and Rothbury and engineers were on sight yesterday.
Chris Greaves, owner of the Coquetvale Hotel, in Rothbury, said: “It’s causing an inconvenience to any customers trying to get to us. I don’t think it’s going to have a negative effect on businesses because there is an alternative route.
“It’s just an inconvenience for anyone visiting Rothbury because the main road into the village is closed.”
People travelling into Rothbury have to use the B6341, off the A697 from Morpeth, at New Moor House crossroads.
Coun Bridgett said: “It is not just Rothbury that this will affect, it is also the smaller communities right through out the Coquet Valley whose residents use this route on a regular basis.
“Another aspect that must also be taken into account for our area is the impact on tourism and business. It must be made clear to visitors which routes they should be using and that we are open for business.”
The councillor said the council had done the “right” thing in closing the route and said it has to be given time to carry out the necessary repairs.