Wall collapse leaves pig in a spot of bother with commuters
A pig is being blamed for the closure of a road used by hundreds of commuters each day.
The rat run saves precious minutes for drivers travelling between the city centre and South Gloucestershire, Keynsham and Bath – avoiding jams on main roads such as the A420.
But the route – Crews Hole Road – has been shut by Bristol City Council for two weeks after part of a stone wall collapsed into the road and the rest was found to have been destabilised. And an errant Gloucestershire Old Spot pig appears to be chiefly to blame. The council has given the owner of a wall running alongside the road two weeks to fix it, telling them the remaining part is in danger of falling into the road. In a letter it sent to a company called GKG Land Limited, based in Essex, the authority blamed part of the wall's dilapidated state on a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which was said to have climbed on it – and the company says it now intends to send the animal's owner the repair bill.
But the owner of the pig, a resident of Crews Hole Road, disputes the claim and says he only put the pig on the vacant land behind the wall to deter travellers who had been parking caravans nearby.
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Rob Needs, 52, said: "Crews Hole Road is a problem area for travellers and anti-social behaviour. We've had three lots of travellers here in the last few months and a rave was held at an empty factory on the road, causing all sorts of problems for me and my neighbours. As a last resort I put my two pet pigs on a patch of land near my house to try to stop travellers parking up caravans there. I have now been told by the company that owns the wall that my pigs are to blame for its crumbling state and that I'm going to be billed for repairs.
"Frankly I think that is ridiculous – I don't understand how a pig could damage a wall that has been there since the 17th century and I will certainly be challenging the company's claim."
Repairs to the wall, which began on Monday, have forced commuters back on to the A420 Church Road and A431 Summerhill Road.
Driver Maggie Leonard, 64, said: "Getting home in the evening is absolute chaos."