Calls for action after ‘extreme’ storm turns busy Stoke-on-Trent road into river


A councillor has called for a review of drainage systems after heavy rain left a busy city road under nearly a foot of water.

Monday night’s storms turned London Road, in West End, into a canal, with both the carriageway and pavements completely submerged.

Ward councillor Andy Platt, while acknowledging this was an ‘extreme storm’, believes there are long-standing issues with drainage in the London Road area which is making flooding like this more likely.

London Road is prone to flooding as rain water will flow down its side streets from Penkhull to the west, meaning the grids can quickly become overwhelmed during heavy downpours – an issue made even worse when the drains are clogged with silt.

He is now calling on officers at Stoke-on-Trent City Council to investigate the problem.

London Road, West End, on Monday night

How London Road normally looks
How London Road normally looks

Mr Platt said: “The crossing near the Wellington Inn has always been the worst part of London Road for flooding. All the rain water comes down off Penkhull bank and it has nowhere else to go.

I know this was an extreme storm, but as far as I’m aware this was the worst flooding in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday night. London Road looked like a river. The kerbs are 150mm and the water was well over them – it must have been getting up to 300mm.

“When there’s that much surface water, all it takes is a car to drive through it and the wake will send water up to people’s front doors.

“I’ve asked the council to clean out the gullies – they’re always a problem because of all the silt building up. Like with most councils, the city council doesn’t clear them on a regular basis any more, they only respond to requests, and I frequently ask them to do it.

“But I think they need to look at the whole surface water drainage system on London Road between James Street and The Villas. Years ago there was a problem with flooding in Stoke town centre, and they did some work on Hartshill bank. But nothing like that has been done on London Road.”

Torrential downpours have caused localised flooding across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire this week.

A blocked grid on London Road
A blocked grid on London Road

Homes in Baldwins Gate were inundated, with sewage pipes overflowing, while rail services in the area were disrupted by landslides.

Dan Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage at the city council, said the authority was already taking steps to address flooding in Stoke and elsewhere in the Potteries.

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Mr Jellyman said: “The council currently has a number of on-going initiatives across the city which actively seek to reduce the risk of flooding and improve the natural environment, while taking into account the impacts of climate change.

“Projects that are being delivered in partnership with other organisation in Stoke include the Environment Agency’s flood alleviation scheme and the naturalisation works to the River Trent delivered by the SUNRISE project.”





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