Council launches probe into ‘extreme’ flooding on busy main road


An investigation has been launched into why ‘extreme’ floods keep happening on a busy main road.

London Road in West End was submerged after two major flooding events during the summer, which resulted in water entering homes and businesses along the stretch.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is now carrying out a flood and drainage assessment for the area, which is expected to discover the reasons for the flooding, and potential solutions, by the end of March.

The authority has been working with Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency on the issue, after concerns were raised by ward councillor Andy Platt.

Mr Platt brought a 189-name petition calling for a ‘long-term solution’ to the problem to the council’s city renewal overview and scrutiny committee.

Committee members quizzed senior officers on the work being done to address the flooding in London Road.

Phil Cresswell, director of place, told the committee that the council was not aware of any problems with the drainage system in the area, although investigations were continuing. He suggested that climate change was a factor behind the recent floods.

Mr Cresswell said: “When you’re modelling information like this, historically,you take a starting point of a 50ml in one hour every 50 years. Clearly, our climate has changed, and we are experiencing flood water which is much greater than that level.

“All the gullies in the area have been found to be in working order. We’ve worked with councillor Platt to send out a tanker to test some of the installations in the locality.

“But there may be further reason to work with Severn Trent to identify further blockages in the system in the wider locality of London Road. That work will be complete by the end of the year.”

Flooding in London Road, Stoke

Dave Stubbs, strategic manager for highways, said the council would be consulting residents and businesses along London Road as part of its investigations.

But he explained that the council would not take action until it was certain that the true cause of the flooding incidents had been found.

Mr Stubbs said: ‘It’s not a straightforward process to establish the actual cause of the flooding. The worst thing we can do is just guess or have a stab at what might be causing it as, whatever solution we identify, we may not be spending money wisely until we have a definitive cause of the problem.

“While we have identified what we believe to be the cause of the problem through discussions with Severn Trent, who are the owners of the main sewer that runs down through London Road. Through discussions with them and the Environment Agency we have been able to potentially make a bid for funding to the EA for local levy funding for assistance with finding the solution to this problem.”

Flooding in London Road
Flooding in London Road

The flooding in London Road happened near the junction with Shelburne Street in June, and then again in August.

On both occasions, heavy rain resulted in the road being submerged under more than a foot of water, leaving cars struggling to get past.

Mr Platt hopes that something will be done about the issue before next summer arrives.

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He said: “I’m looking forward to getting involved in this study. People in that area have been scared of water coming through their front door this year, and I really do think we have the opportunity with this survey, when that’s completed by the end of the financial year, to get something practical done before next summer. That’s what we really need to see, whatever it may be.

“I’m glad I’ll have something to report back to the residents, as it is a very scary situation to have floodwater coming through your door and not being able to do anything about it.”

Scrutiny committee members asked to be given an update on the London Road flooding issue in April.





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