THE end is in sight for an Andover man and his nine-year campaign to repair a “very dangerous” residential road – but not before news of an eleventh-hour hitch.

Lance Mitchell has been pushing to have proper lighting and a safe footpath installed at Dairy Court and the Old Creamery, offshoots of Charlton Road, since 2011.

While new lighting is currently being installed, work on the footpath had been due to start on Monday – only for delays due to the Covid-19 crisis causing that work to be pushed back another week.

Not that Lance has been disheartened by the delay. The Ocado delivery driver says he’s “ecstatic” that work is finally underway after so many years of inaction.

The road in question is home to a number of houses, plus “70 to 80 flats” and the head office of Custom Interconnect Limited (CIL).

Previously, its users had been left to contend with an unfinished footpath, which Lance describes as ‘basically just rubble’ and in a ‘terrible condition’. The path also had lampposts placed in the middle of the walkway, adding another obstacle. And to make matters worse, Lance says the lights on those lampposts never even worked.

The combination makes for a very dangerous situation, the 64-year-old tells the Advertiser.

“People that live in the flats up at the top of the road, quite a lot of them are young with young kids,” he said, “and because they can’t walk on the foot path they walk in the middle of the road with their pushchairs and their toddlers, and at night – especially in the winter – it’s pitch black down there.

He continued: “I’ve seen young mothers leaning into the fence with pushchairs and toddlers because trucks and vans go up [the road] delivering to CIL all the time, and they do go quite fast. So it’s scary.”

“It’s very, very dangerous,” he added. “It’s a wonder no one’s been hit.”

Lance explains that the long wait for action was due to the road not being finished by the developer, who then became ‘uncontactable’.

He said: “The problem is the highways and byways are the county council’s responsibility, but only when the road’s been adopted. And they only adopt the highway when it’s been completed by the developer.”

But after the county council decided to adopt the road anyway, work was able to begin.

The lighting is expected to be finished by the end of this week, with work on the footpath beginning on June 15 with a view to being completed by the following Monday.