Lack of action of ‘chronic’ road flooding is a ‘disgrace’

Will Flewett at the junction of Southdown Road and Western Road where the road floods regularly

Will Flewett at the junction of Southdown Road and Western Road where the road floods regularly

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Inaction over ‘chronic’ road flooding in Shoreham is doing ‘hurt and damage’ to the elderly and less able, according to a nearby resident.

Will Flewett, 63, lives next to the junction of Southdown Road and Western Road where, every time it rains, the stretch of road under the railway bridge – an ‘arterial route from care homes to the town’ – floods.

Mr Flewett took this photo of an elderly woman struggling through the water

Mr Flewett took this photo of an elderly woman struggling through the water

Mr Flewett is trying to get the relevant authorities, who he says are ‘prevaricating’ over the issue, to ‘take responsibility.’

Last Monday, he took a photo showing an elderly woman pushing her shopper through water several inches deep after rainfall caused flooding lasting four days.

He said: “It’s a disgrace that the elderly have to endure this with nothing being done to alleviate the problem.”

The issue, which has been going on for ‘at least 15 years’ has been logged with the county council’s highways department on at least ten occasions in the past year, according to Mr Flewett.

It’s a disgrace that the elderly have to endure this with nothing being done to alleviate the problem

Will Flewett of John Street

His wife, Sue Johnston, also of John Street, said residents nearby have become resigned to getting their feet wet and being ‘sloshed’ as vehicles pass.

She said: “When nothing happens year after year you don’t have the same motivation. You give up.”

She said rain causes flooding because the soakaway drain is not connected to the mains, but linked to a railway ditch, which is bordered by a wall.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said the land is owned by Network Rail, within a conservation area.

The county council is working with Network Rail and Adur and Worthing Councils on how to resolve the drainage issue, the spokesperson added.

Paula Williams, community network executive at Network Rail, told Mr Flewett the ditch needed to be cleared but a gate had to be put in the wall first, so that the ditch could be inspected.

She said that planning permission was needed from the council to put the gate in place.

A Network Rail spokesperson told the Herald: “We are currently in discussion with Adur and Worthing Councils’ planning department regarding the design of the scheme with a view to submitting a planning application as soon as possible.”

Mrs Johnston said it was ‘not good enough’, adding a ‘short-term’ solution was needed immediately.

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