Flooded roads prompt complaints from St Albans residents

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 January 2016

The flooded Dyke Lane next to the Wicked Lady pub

The flooded Dyke Lane next to the Wicked Lady pub

Archant

Complaints about flooded roads have been flowing almost as quickly as the recent rain after fed-up motorists continue to call upon the county council to take action.

Days of precipitation also resulted in the Environment Agency issuing a flood alert for the district, along with Radlett, after river levels rose following rainfall over the weekend.

In Wheathampstead, Dyke Lane was effectively turned into a waterway next to popular pub The Wicked Lady.

The lengthy rural thoroughfare runs off the B651 between Sandridge and the village, all the way to Marford Road.

A local woman, who did not wish to be named, said she has lodged a stream of complaints with Herts county council over the past year, because the lane always becomes flooded after ongoing rain.

The flooded Dyke Lane next to the Wicked Lady pubThe flooded Dyke Lane next to the Wicked Lady pub

She told the Herts Advertiser: “It has been a nightmare for the best part of a year, with severe flooding whenever it rains. I’ve contacted the council, but they aren’t interested in taking any action.”

The woman said that she has been forced to reverse from pooling water, as she cannot tell how deep it is, and as she is disabled, does not want to risk her vehicle becoming stuck or breaking down.

After she recently lodged yet another complaint with Ringway, the council’s highways contractor, the woman was “flabbergasted” after the firm said the location was considered “safe and does not require immediate action”.

Ringway told her it would “add your report to a list of possible future works. We prioritise this list as issues [sic] have to compete for funding against others that have been identified across the county.”

The woman, who describes herself as a ‘senior’ resident said: “Dyke Lane is great for bypassing the village if you are going to or from Hatfield, the A1 etc. The first time I tried driving through flooded water there, it frightened the life out of me, and I shouldn’t be put in that position.”

Ringway’s divisional manager Kevin Carrol said: “We are aware of local concerns with flooding in Dyke Lane. The location has already been added to the drainage works programme for the next financial year.”

There was also flooding on Shenley Road and Radlett Lane in Radlett, with motorists complaining that whenever there is heavy rain, water tends to pool in that area.

The county council’s cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Richard Thake, has warned residents to take care on roads and avoid driving through flood water as “just six inches can cause a car to lose control or stall”.

He said that sudden heavy downpours could lead to more localised flooding, and while the council is “not expecting widespread problems, we are asking residents to think ahead and take extra care when the weather is bad.

“When we had heavy rain during July [2015], we responded to 150 emergency calls, and many of those could have been avoided if … drivers had taken a bit more care.”

The Environment Agency issued flood alerts for Colney Heath, London Colney and Radlett for three days, until Tuesday (12), after the catchment became ‘saturated’.

The alerts were for Upper River Colne and Tykes Water (Radlett Brook).

In an update posted on the agency’s website yesterday (12), it said river levels had peaked and would continue to fall, but “any standing water may remain for a while on low lying land and road.

“As the catchment is now saturated the river will remain sensitive to any further significant rainfall.”

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