25 flooding hotspots on Buckinghamshire’s roads have received permanent drainage improvements over the past year thanks to an investment of £720,000 by Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB).
Started in 2016, the county wide drainage improvement programme aims to create sustainable, long term solutions as part of TfB’s proactive approach to addressing some of the more significant drainage issues across Buckinghamshire.
TfB has been working with County Councillors and local people to identify where road surface water and ineffective drainage are an issue, so that a long term solution can be found.
Each site chosen for drainage treatment is assessed and prioritised alongside other upcoming schemes. Local knowledge, safety concerns, site visits, scans and CCTV footage of existing drainage are taken into account before determining the priority of each site.
A solution to the problem is then designed and built by a team of drainage specialists. In general the work will involve improving ditch capacity, making sure soak aways are sufficient, installing new gully systems and upgrading pipe sizes to increase capacity.
Frequent flooding on Dorney Wood Road (pictured above) had become an issue for local residents, who approached Cabinet Member Mark Shaw to express their frustration about the deep standing water they frequently had to drive through.
Mark worked with the member for Burnham, Lin Hazell, and the Local Area Technician to nominate the road for the 2017-18 drainage improvement scheme.
TfB’s drainage team carried out a joint investigation with the help and cooperation of the landowner and found that the lane was prone to flooding in two places due to inadequate or non-existent drainage and high verges.
Plans were drawn up to install gullies and a soak away (a chamber with porous walls installed underground that allows water to slowly soak into the ground) and improve the kerb weirs on the lane to increase the capacity for drainage.
The works were carried out at the beginning of November 2017 and while the road was closed for the scheme the drainage team collaborated with other TfB teams to arrange pot hole repairs and gully cleaning which would have been difficult to do with the road open.
By making full use of the road closure to carry out additional improvement works the collaboration between the teams meant that no further road closures were necessary, offering a saving of time and money.
County Councillor for Burnham, Lin Hazell, praised the works: ‘This is a great example of when everything goes right – from the Local Area Technician’s very thorough and helpful brief, to the drainage team working with the landowner, to the collaboration on site between different teams to ensure full use was made of the road closure.
Everyone played their part to just make sure the job was done well, improving the road for local residents for years to come. Huge well done and thanks due to everyone involved.‘
Since the programme started two years ago £1.4 million has been spent on improving 45 sites. A further £1million has been allocated for 2018-19, an increase of almost £300k on the previous two years. The new drainage scheme will commence in April 2018 and will include up to 40 new sites.