ALMOST 100 years of campaigning by residents has so far failed to persuade a council to repair a residential street.

Residents of Temple Gardens, in Templetown, Consett, have even involved a prime minister in their quest to have the private street adopted by Durham County Council.

However, the council will not take responsibility for the street until it is brought up to standard by the residents at a cost of more than £1,000 per household.

Several attempts have been made by the homeowners to get together to pay for the street upgrade, which accommodates more than 30 homes - but not everyone has been able to afford it.

Temple Gardens, and the other side of the street, known as Alwin Gardens, was built about the time of the First World War, and it is thought by residents that the builder went bankrupt before the street paving could be laid properly.

During one bout of campaigning to get the street adopted in the 1980s, even Margaret Thatcher became involved, passing the matter on to the then minister for local government.

Resident Billy Geoghegan said he had lived in the street for 33 years, since he was a child.

He said: "I remember my mother and father trying to get this sorted out, and they said it had been going on for a long time, so it could be that people have been trying since the homes were first built.

"I can't pretend that the council hasn't come up with schemes to help us sort the street out over the years, but some of the people here are pensioners, and they just cannot afford to come up with that kind of cash.

"The situation is currently ridiculous, and dangerous because the street is in such bad repair."

A spokesman for Durham council said there were a number of private streets in the county that were not adopted.

He said: "We are prepared to adopt roads, but they must be of an acceptable standard first. We can't simply go from scratch and lay a road.