Update regarding Flowton Road Closure due to Badgers & Road Subsidence Good Afternoon, Report Number: 206725 Report Location: Flowton Road, Somersham Thank you for your recent report. We can now provide you with the following update, Somersham Parish Council - Road closure update As you are aware in March Suffolk Highways received reports of subsidence within Flowton Road, Somersham believed to be a result of badger activity. For public safety reasons the road has been through traffic for the foreseeable future. Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 badgers are a protected species and we are legally obliged not to undertake works that could interfere with a sett, particularly during the breeding season. We have now applied to Natural England for a licence to undertake the necessary repair works and we are now waiting for their further advice. Following the press and media coverage one of their Senior Advisors contacted us just before Easter and we are hoping to arrange a site visit with them shortly. Suffolk County Council's Ecology Team has confirmed that there is a live badger sett at this location. Suffolk Highways has also taken measures to ensure that the road closure barriers cannot be moved and we have had no further reports of people trying to ignore the closure by trying to take vehicles through. Barriers are in place where the road is severely subsided but there is evidence that the current extent of subsidence is over a length of approximately 20m and at least 1.5m wide. Until the site is badger free we are unable to establish the full extent of voids under the road. The mounds of sand on the embankment extend over a similar distance but we have also observed a fresh large mound just south of the main sunken area. It is currently considered unsafe to reopen the road to traffic. We are aware of the inconvenience and hardship this causes to local residents and businesses. Suffolk Highways is currently investigating the viability of a temporary solution to reopen the road, although we are cautious given the extent of the damage and the proximity of the embankment. Above all any solution must be structurally sound and not be a risk to public safety. We have also been in contact with your local County Councillor and a farmer directly affected by the closure. Whilst we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to open the road before the badgers are gone and the road can be permanently repaired, we will endeavour to assist passage during the harvest season if at all possible. We also ask that local businesses and the community use alternative routes during this period. We apologise to the residents and businesses of Somersham, Flowton and surrounding villages for the inconvenience and disruption caused by this closure and we thank you for your co-operation during this period. Justin Lewis, Community Engineer. 12/4/2018