Gully good show in bid to beat flooding

An additional £500,000 has been agreed for repeat gully cleansing and repairing roadside drainage.

It is part of a programme to ensure Bucks is as protected as possible against heavy rainfall and potential flooding.

The funding is on top of the £110m committed more than four years from Buckinghamshire Council’s budget to tackle highways repairs, with extra focus being given to a number of high priority areas.

With the highest rainfall for more than 200 years throughout winter and spring, in recent months many areas within Bucks have experienced flooding and related problems.

To bolster resilience to flooding and heavy rain, the council will use the new funding to carry out extra cleansing of high priority gullies that need it, in addition to its regular planned gully maintenance.

This is to ensure they are in prime condition to cope with periods of sudden heavy or prolonged rainfall. New ditches and ‘grips’ to remove water from the road will also be created in some problem areas, and damaged drainage systems will be repaired so that water can flow away more easily.

Peter Martin, deputy cabinet member for transport, said: ‘As we know, it has been a very wet winter and the excessive amounts of rain have caused issues for many of our communities as drainage systems struggled to deal with volumes of water rarely seen in Buckinghamshire.

‘While dealing with sewers and mains water pipes remains the responsibility of water companies, as a council we need to ensure that roads are clear of standing water wherever possible.

‘Clearing gullies and ditches of leaves and debris and making repairs where needed allows the water to drain away more quickly and helps to prevent some flooding.’

For the past four years, the council has allocated funding to clean all 85,000 gullies countywide as part of a regular cycle.

This will be the fourth year of clearing out the gullies and making repairs where necessary, minimising damage to highways caused by run-off from roads.

Steven Broadbent (right), Cabinet Member for Transport, observing gully cleansing at Hilton Avenue in Aylesbury.