‘Excuse me, how do I get my car out?’

Brian Atkinson of Church Road, St Annes, who has been unable to get out of his drive for three days
Brian Atkinson of Church Road, St Annes, who has been unable to get out of his drive for three days
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A baffled home owner who left his car safely in the drive for the day returned to find it stranded behind a huge hole dug by workmen.

Brian Atkinson, 75, has had to resort to buses, taxis and lifts from friends since Saturday when the hole appeared outside his detached bungalow.

Boards and hoardings were erected around the area which sits directly across the driveway’s gates.

The work was carried out by workmen from the 
National Grid in Church Road, St Annes, as part of an investigation into a reported gas leak in the area.

But it meant he has been unable to use his own transport since he arrived home at the start of the weekend from a trip out with a friend to find his gate blocked and his car trapped inside.

The retired lecturer’s greatest frustration came on Sunday when he had to take the bus to Lytham to carry out his duties playing the organ at St Peter’s RC Church and he said: “I am amazed and 
disgusted that I have been left in this situation.

“I had been out in town for an hour with a friend last Saturday. When he dropped me back, my gate had been blocked by this hole but there were no workmen to be seen and I have been unable to get my car out since.

“I presumed it was a follow-up to their investigations over a gas leak we had reported a week earlier but, after that initial emergency visit, we didn’t see anyone for days and there was no warning that they were going to come and dig in front of my drive.

“A crew called back briefly on Tuesday and promised me it was being sorted but went away again and I was still 
unable to use my car four days later.”

A spokesman for National Grid said: “We were called to investigate a gas escape on May 31 and it took our 
engineers a few days to locate the position of the leak outside Mr Atkinson’s house.

“He wasn’t home when our engineers were preparing to excavate to start the 
repair on the leak but, for safety reasons, we couldn’t delay the work.

“We do appreciate that we have caused him considerable inconvenience and we 
wholeheartedly apologise for this. In these situations it is important that we put people’s personal safety first and stop the gas leak.

“The excavation has been filled in and work to replace the paving stones is being fast tracked.”