Network Rail Publicly Pledged To Clear Crabtree Lane Drainage Ditches In 2019

The Champion ● Wednesday 28 August 2019 “following recent flooding incident”.

“Network Rail has pledged to clear some of the drainage ditches which it is responsible for near to Crabtree Lane in Burscough after recent heavy rainfall led to flooding in the area. However, the company says that other parts of the drainage system, which could also have been contributory factors in floods, may also need attention.

“The Champion recently told how pensioner Bernie Webster, who lives in Crabtree Lane, had saved his own and neighbours’ properties from more flooding misery using pumps which he had bought following the Boxing Day floods of 2015. The 65-year-old, who suffers from asthma, used three electronic automatic pumps and an industrial-size diesel generator pump to shift water from the homes during heavy downpours last month.

“Bernie’s neighbour Peter Curl contacted the Champion to say it was “absolutely shameful” that they had to rely on a pensioner to save them while the local authorities appeared to do nothing more than talk about the issues. He said Bernie’s pump allowed the water to bypass “known blockages” in the drainage system which, he claimed “Network Rail refuse to address”. The rail company owns two culverts that run underneath the nearby railway line.

“Network Rail has confirmed that it has inspected its culverts and that its drainage ditches are in need of clearing but suggests that drainage ditches belonging to other authorities may also need attention . Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council, as the lead local flood authority, has said that it has commissioned a report into the causes of flooding in the area which should be reporting its initial findings soon.

“A Network Rail spokesperson said “We have recently inspected the culverts on our land beside the railway near Crabtree Lane, Burscough, after recent extremely heavy rainfall. In some places we found vegetation is overgrown and we will be clearing this from the drainage ditches we are responsible for. We are thankful to residents for letting us know about the recent water levels. However, there are other parts of the drainage system that we do not own which may need some attention. We would encourage people to contact the local council if they have concerns about drainage issues from other landowners in the area.”

Rachel Crompton, flood risk manager for Lancashire County Council, said “As lead local flood authority, we have been working closely with residents and businesses in Burscough, along with the local Flood Action Group, to document the flooding incidents they have experienced, and are aware of the issues affecting properties in Crabtree Lane. “We have commissioned a study into the causes of flooding in Burscough in order to understand the options which may be available to improve the situation and limit the impact of future flooding. We are due to receive the initial findings in the coming weeks and will be contacting people about the report in due course”.

A United Utilities spokesperson said “The root cause of flooding can be extremely complex and we are committed to working with the lead local flood authority (Lancashire County Council) and other agencies to ensure issues are investigated thoroughly and measures are put in place to help minimise the risk of flooding”.

Three instances of pure bullshittery! Not one word you could believe from Network Rail, LCC, and UU. In August 2020 the same area has flooded and now we read of how angry our MP Rosie Cooper is. And in another current case, Aughton Town Green Lane, Rachel Crompton, quoted above, has told the Champion about “…sustained rainfall events which local drainage networks were never designed to cope with…and a bigger issue with capacity of local drainage systems”. 



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