We have just experienced severe rainfall which resulted in a lot of localised flooding. Much of this flooding is on our roads over recent years and feels worse than it has ever been. Why is this? Whilst we are seeing rivers being overwhelmed and flooding, much more common is localised flooding around low spots on roads. Unlike river floods, this localised flooding clears relatively quickly, generally within 12 hours of the rainfall event. But they are a significant hazard to road users, and cause damage to the road structure which then needs repair.
This road flooding is most often caused by the drainage systems not being maintained by the responsible party, usually in our case Conservative Hampshire County Council (HCC). Once the waters have cleared one can usually see the intended drain which has clearly not done its job. What maintenance is required? Well drainage needs regular cleaning of silt, debris and vegetation. Roads often drain to gullies. These contain silt traps which collect debris and silt, and these require regular (annual) cleaning. Gullies then drain to pipes and ditches and these would typically flow via interceptors and ponds to the nearest watercourse. This network needs regular monitoring and maintenance.
I suspect that like potholes funding issues have resulted in a significant reduction in the maintenance of all aspects of the road system. However, in the long term this lack of maintenance by Conservative HCC will cost us all more, whether by damage to our vehicles or the need to repair badly maintained roads
Cllr Luigi Gregori
Lib Dem PPC NWHants