THE direct route between Darlington and Barnard Castle might not be restored for 18 months (Echo, Apr 27) following a partial collapse of the A67.

This is totally without precedent and wholly unacceptable.

Action must be taken now by the Highway Authority.

In the unlikely event they come to a view as to who else might be financially liable for the subsidence Durham County Council’s legal department can pursue that matter then.

The work cannot be held up while the county looks into whether someone else is liable for subsidence.

Pushing all the traffic to Barnard Castle, heavy goods vehicles etc along Staindrop Road is not good enough. The narrow country lanes cannot cope.

The massive rush-hour traffic congestion this is causing in Darlington’s West End impacts on the economy of Darlington, Barnard Castle and Newton Aycliffe.

What is this costing each individual worker in fuel as they are forced stand with engines running stuck in traffic?

What is this going to cost major tourist destinations such as Bowes Museum and Raby Castle in lost visitor numbers?

What is this costing the retailers in Cockerton, Newton Aycliffe and Barnard Castle in lost business?

We must have action now to repair the road immediately.

There can be no more delays.

Nigel Boddy, Darlington.