MYSTERY surrounding the ownership of a stretch of road which has been badly damaged by the harsh winter is preventing traders from getting it fixed.
The unnamed strip of tarmac which leads from the island in the centre of Barnards Green to the Six Ways Trading Estate currently has several large potholes as a result of the cold weather in recent months.
The divots are wreaking havoc for traders as well as customers visiting the nine businesses based at the site.
Some have reported the road to Worcestershire County Council which is responsible for maintaining public highways throughout the county, however the authority has denied ownership of the land.
A spokeswoman said the stretch was not part of its adopted highway or a public right of way. She added the council did not keep records of private ownership and had no way of knowing who was currently responsible for it.
The spokeswoman confirmed the council could not spend public funds on repairing the road.
Malvern Hills District Council has also confirmed it does not belong to them and none of the traders on the estate have been able to claim responsibility for it.
Mike Kalisperas who runs Barnards Green Fish Bar based at the entrance of the road, said it was a ‘strange and frustrating’ situation for traders.
He added they could not even club together and pay for the repairs themselves without knowing who owned it.
Town councillor Martin Lawrence who represents Poolbrook, said: “For independent traders to survive and flourish, regular footfall and positive customer experience are the most vital requirements.
“The driveway is also a footpath, an artery that in it’s current state of disrepair discourages customers from walking to businesses that so value their custom.
“Traders cannot simply attempt a repair themselves without creating a potential liability relating to misrepair.”
A spokeswoman from the Land Registry confirmed the road was not registered with them although she added it did not mean it was not owned by someone.