Bramfield man uses grandson’s metal detector to locate drain after highways contractors cover over it when they resurfaced road

Mick Hart picture with his grandson's metal detector which he used to find a drain that was covered

Mick Hart picture with his grandson's metal detector which he used to find a drain that was covered over by Suffolk Highways. Photograph Simon Parker. - Credit: Archant

A grandfather was tasked to locate a drain cover with a toy metal detector after the council lay a new road over the top.

Mick Hart picture with his grandson's metal detector which he used to find a drain that was covered

Mick Hart picture with his grandson's metal detector which he used to find a drain that was covered over by Suffolk Highways. Photograph Simon Parker. - Credit: Archant

A grandfather was tasked to locate a drain cover with a toy metal detector after the council lay a new road over the top.

Mick Hart, who lives on Low Road, Bramfield, took matters into his own hands when the road flooded after a new surface was laid.

His wife, Rose, who admits the blunder sounds like something from a comedy sketch, said: “Firstly someone marked an important drain cover, which takes the run off from the hillside into the river.

“Next, a large machine removed the road surface, and the marking.

“The next day a thin layer of new tarmac was applied, laying road surfacing over the drain cover.

“After heavy rain the road flooded, and we pointed out the drain had been covered over, and another workman was sent to try and locate it.

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“He was unable to do so, so another worker arrived with a metal detector, and he couldn’t find it. We then located the drain cover with my grandson’s toy metal detector.”

Mr Hart, who used the metal detector, said: “It was important to know where the drain was so when they dig up the road they will know where it was.

“I don’t think the detector had been switched on for more than a year. It was the cheapest one you could buy, I fired it up and ‘ping’ there it was.”

Mrs Hart added: “This would be slightly funny in a comedy sketch, but not so funny when our community charge and local taxes are paying for it. There are so many firms working on the road, no one would take any form of responsibility for it and each worker passed the buck to someone else, saying it was nothing to do with them.

“If this is how contracting out is supposed to save our councils money, I think it is a grave mistake.

“At least when all the trucks were yellow and marked ‘Highways’ we could find someone to speak to.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, said: “Our contractor is attending the site today to investigate the issues regarding the surfacing work on Low Road.

“Arrangements will be made to ensure any issues are dealt with and corrected as a priority.”