March 7 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Residents are calling for action to put an end to persistent flooding on one of Royston’s busiest roads.
The water has been pooling on Burns Road, near the Coombes Community Centre, making driving conditions hazardous.
Gillian Morland is manager of the Coombes Community Centre, and says she has repeatedly reported the issue to Hertfordshire County Council’s highways department.
She said: “I reported this flooding issue at the beginning of November last year and it had been a problem for while by then, I now have a growing file of emails and have not been able to make the Hertfordshire Highways see it as an area of concern.
“We have around 1,000 people using the centre each week and those people have to drive through the water or risk being splashed when they walk or cycle here.
“Caution flood signs would be a help, but really the drain needs dredging and then the water will go away on its own. It is a problem that is going to become a considerable risk to safety once the weather drops below freezing.”
Burns Road has a history of flooding, and in 2009 extra underground defences were put in place to try and get to the route of the problem.
Mrs Morland said: “Burns Road is a main route for school pupils, and pedestrians using the railway underpass to get to Tesco, as well as for many families to get to the schools and access to the doctor’s surgery. It is the only access road, and a bus route, and the flood disrupts traffic flow as they queue up to take turns to use the middle of the road which is the shallowest part.”
Cliff Brazil, of Thackeray Close, has also reported the flood to the county council.
He said: “The water keeps coming up out of the ground. I’ve reported it twice since Christmas, but so far no one has been out to do anything about it, and when I rang up last time they said it would take up to ten days.”
Royston county councillor Fiona Hill, who has also raised the problem, told the Crow that work is being carried out today (Thursday) to clear the drains and that similar work had already been carried out. Further investigation will then follow.
She added: “Clearly there is an issue as it is still flooding.”
Matthew Kelley, divisional manager for maintenance contractor Ringway which is working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Ringway have previously attended the site on Burns Road on a number of occasions to clear the surface water. We will be clearing the surface water and carrying out further investigations in the next days to identify the root cause.
“We are currently in a period of exceptionally high rainfall, our resources at primarily targeted at flood sites where there is damage to property or that present a serious hazard to road users, so we ask members of the public to please be patient with us during this period of time.”