Residents respond to blocked drain claim

Residents in Queens Road have complained about the block drains which seem to flood in the heavy rainfall. NNL-150209-143918001
Residents in Queens Road have complained about the block drains which seem to flood in the heavy rainfall. NNL-150209-143918001

A Banbury resident has expressed her frustration at Oxfordshire Highways after reporting blocked drains on the road that she lives.

Clare Taylor lives on Queens Road and despite her and other neighbours contacting the department, which is part of Oxfordshire County Council, officers say work to unblock the drains concerned had already been carried out this year.

The blocked drains in question also include locations near People’s Park and in Horse Fair outside the Church House, which notoriously gets blocked following heavy rainfall.

In a reply to the council, who said the drains in Queens Road had been cleared on May 15 and May 26, Mrs Taylor said: “The ones in Queens Road definitely haven’t been cleared this year, the same drains have been blocked since 2014. They are totally blocked and I have tried to hammer a steel rod through the soil in one of them to see if it would give - it seems packed solid.

“The drains marked in People’s Park have been blocked for many years, to the point where they are now over overgrown; heavy rain causes the water to run off the alleyway from West Bar, down the side of the tennis courts straight out onto Bath Road, and into the gardens of the houses opposite, to the extent that some of them have sandbags to put along their gateway.”

“The drain on Horsefair, situated in the car park outside the Church House, is constantly blocked. It is at the lowest point of the car park so drains most of that area, plus water running off The Leys when the rain is very heavy. It soon fills up and breaches the kerb, flowing across the road by the pedestrian crossing, and on down North Bar towards Warwick Road.”

Mrs Taylor added that many people who have houses in Bath Road are now having to take drastic measures in heavy rainfall to cope with flooding, as their basement pumps try to deal with access water.

She said: “I have lived in Queens Road for 20 years and it is an ongoing situation. Some of my friends live in Bath Road and have said their basement filters switch off and as a result it gets flooded. Part of the problem is that we have asked the Highways Department several times and they have said they are not blocked. It is ridiculous.”

Owen Morton, spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “During heavy rain it is not uncommon for drains to overflow as a result of the volume of water passing through them. The drains on Queens Road and surrounding roads are cleared annually, and this work was carried out recently in May, but our drainage team is aware of concerns raised and will continue to monitor the situation.”