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Question by Rob Bird to Matthew Balfour, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport

December 9, 2016 10:49 PM

"Heavy rainfall in Maidstone quite often results in the roadway at the foot of the Broadway being flooded, compounding congestion in the area. Furthermore, in extreme conditions the subway also floods making it very difficult for pedestrians to cross this busy road.

Despite these matters being raised repeatedly with officers for many months and years, there appears to be no permanent solution in sight.

Will the Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport please give his assurance that these issues will be properly addressed once and for all, and provide a time-frame for completion of the necessary works?"

Answer

The most recent flooding at the foot of the Broadway in Maidstone was caused by a blockage in the drainage system as it enters Southern Water's Surface Water Sewer. Arrangements were made to attend to the problem overnight and the blockage was successfully cleared.

We are continuing to work closely with Southern Water to resolve this issue but this has been delayed due to the Maidstone Gyratory Works as the surface water is flowing down Rocky Hill and overwhelming the drainage system at the bottom of the Broadway. The highway drainage system is now clear but until the main carrier pipe has been fully cleaned there may be some further problems in periods of heavy rainfall. We are liaising with Southern Water about a suitable slot for them to undertake their inspection and cleaning but this may now not be until after the Christmas period.

Regarding the subway our Drainage and Structures Asset Team advise that the existing pumps have all been repaired but we are looking to upgrade the drainage system within the subway to make it more robust and resilient. As this may require additional reinforcement within the subway structure, we want to ensure we fully investigate and plan these works carefully. However, we are confident that all works can be completed within this financial year, subject to the results of the investigatory work. I will ask that they keep you informed of progress.