Action needed to fix persistent flooding problem at Royston junction

08:34 24 July 2014

Floods in Melbourn Street following Sunday

Floods in Melbourn Street following Sunday's storm (Pic: Craig Ransley)


Action is needed to tackle persistent flooding of a Royston junction which has been regular headache for 25 years, says one concerned neighbour.

Hawthorn Way and Garden Walk (Pic: Steve Vince)Hawthorn Way and Garden Walk (Pic: Steve Vince)

The junction of Garden Walk and Hawthorn Way was under water on Sunday evening, with heavy rain also flooding several other areas of the town.

Steve Vince, of Hawthorn Way, said flooding has been a problem on the street for the last quarter of a century. He said: “This junction has been subject to repeated flooding for around 25 years from my memory. Here we are again with yet more flooding.

“How will we cope if the current proposals to build 300 houses on the field between Newmarket Road and Garden Walk which backs on to Hawthorn Way were to proceed?

“If we have suffered this sort of flooding for this long I can’t imagine a new estate behind us is going to miraculously fix this problem.”

Plans for the housing development off Newmarket Road were revealed in the Crow earlier this month.

Royston Town Council’s Councillor F. John Smith said: “I think the drains are ok. There was an exceptionally large storm on Saturday and they struggled to cope with such a large amount of water.

“I went down to the road on Sunday and saw a fairly large puddle but most of the water was draining away and had gone within an hour.”

A town centre pub was evacuated when the roof collapsed during Sunday’s storms.

Customers were escorted from the Manor House in Melbourn Street after heavy rain caused damage to the roof at about 5.30pm.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, which owns the Manor House, said: “The guttering overflowed and rain water came through the roof and two floors, cutting the electricity and fire protection system. The pub was evacuated and closed. There were no injuries to staff or customers.”

The pub re-opened on Tuesday.

Highways contractors say the rain also overwhelmed drains, leading to flooding in the town centre.

Melbourn Street was flooded after the downpour, with other nearby streets also affected.

Jerry Pert, regional director of Ringway, Herts County Council’s highways contractor, said: “We received reports of flooding on Melbourn Street just before 6pm.

“When our crews arrived, the flood had already dissipated. We believe the flood was caused by an extremely heavy downpour which temporarily overwhelmed the drainage systems.”

A spokesman for Herts County Council said: “A significant investment has been made into drainage in Royston over the last few years. In Garden Walk and Hawthorne Way the drainage system is by soakaways where water is stored in concrete chambers and disperses into the surrounding chalk strata. These soakaways are designed to deal with certain frequencies of rainfall intensity.

“On Sunday, Royston experienced a torrential downpour with 37.4mm or an inch and a half of rain falling in less than an hour, which caused localised flash floods.

“This overwhelmed the drainage system storage capacity and caused the localised flooding in many roads, however the water receded quickly once the rain had stopped.

“We are not aware of prolonged flooding at this location over the last 3 years, but if there is an ongoing problem then we urge residents to report incidents of flooding via so we can deal with any problems and check drainage systems to make sure they’re working efficiently.”

Pictures of the storms can be found on our website,


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