Light at the end of the gulley for long-running flooding

Cllr Sandy Walkington at the site of the works in Mayne Avenue.

Cllr Sandy Walkington at the site of the works in Mayne Avenue. - Credit: Sandy Walkington

Long-overdue action to resolve persistent flooding in a St Albans road is finally underway.

Mayne Avenue is flooded whenever there is heavy rain, but now roadworks hope to resolve the issue once and for all.

County councillor Sandy Walkington said since he was first elected county councillor nine years ago the problem has become significantly worse, particularly with recent more extreme heavy rain.

The situation was complicated by HCC and Thames Water both saying the other was responsible for the ‘assets’, with both organisations carrying out palliative fixes which have only worked temporarily.

Sandy said: “I coined the phrase ‘Lake Mayne’ and it seems to have stuck. After heavy rain, the road floods and can be impassable for cars and even the bus service.

"Yet Mayne Avenue is the main feeder road for the whole Verulam estate as well as providing access to Waitrose, Prae Wood school and Fosse House elderly care home.

“Getting it resolved has involved both Herts county council as highway authority and Thames Water as the main sewerage authority. The road dips at this point with everything meeting at the junction with Ermine Close.

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"The complex network of highway gullies, catch-pits and soakaways have proved inadequate. A new soakaway is being installed as well as new catch-pits and two new kerbside gullies. We hope this will do the trick.

“With global climate change, we can expect more frequent torrential rainfall. It is vital that the county council makes its infrastructure resilient and adapted to the new normal.

"After years of campaigning with the help of many local residents, I hope we have resolved this long-running saga, but I fear this is a foretaste of things to come,” he added.

Timothy Beecroft, chairman of Verulam Residents Association, said: “Residents are, I am sure, as pleased and relieved as I am that years of chasing and nagging seem at last  to have had an effect. We all fervently hope that these long-awaited works finally rid us of the inconvenience and mess of ‘Lake Mayne’.”