A Linthwaite barber was horrified to discover a huge hole in the road in front of his shop this morning.

Andrew Cocking, owner of Andy’s Barber Shop in Manchester Road, had to climb over a wall just to get inside his premises and was unable to open for the first time in 35 years as a result of road being dug up and blocked off by Northern Gas Networks.

The roadworks also caused severe rush hour delays along Manchester Road.

But the Examiner stepped in - and was able to sort the problem out for Andrew, who was worried about his elderly customers being unable to get in for their appointments.

He said: “I have a lot of regulars, but I only open on Thursdays now as I’m hoping to retire.

Video thumbnail, Andy the barber's hole trouble
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“Nobody could get in and I didn’t know what to do. I’ve been here 35 years and this was the first time I have not been able to open.

“No one could access the shop, they just left a huge hole.”

We contacted Northern Gas Networks - and Andrew said a contracter from the company came straight out and put a sheet of metal over the hole, creating a bridge for customers to get to the shop.

He added: “They have promised me it will be done by next Thursday when I open again. I’m sure the Examiner has done some good.”

NGN said they were spending £160,000 on upgrading gasworks in Manchester Road and work was progressing well, with 300m of new pipes laid.

Andy's Barbers on Manchester Road Linthwaite amongst the roadworks which have caused proprietor Andy Cocking and his customers access to the shop.

Site manager James Barker said: "NGN has been working closely with the local community to minimise the disruption caused by this essential work and have taken every measure to ensure that access to properties in the area is maintained at all times, doing everything possible to accommodate individual requests.

“Following a conversation with Mr Cocking, we reviewed the access arrangements that were in place at his property and extended the access as requested. We know that no one likes roadworks and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their patience and support in getting them completed as safely and quickly as possible.”

The first phase of the work is due to complete on December 23 with the final phase commencing on January 3 for two weeks.