Patience Is A Virtue While Floods Swirl Around Network Rail Assets

In 2007 a community group of people formed the Oxford Flood Alliance, to fight and campaign against flooding.

In 2011 they heard about Network Rail having carried out work to improve flow on Hinksey Drain as it passes under the railway access road north of the red brick road bridge near Kennington.

They said “Some of us have campaigned for this since 2004, before OFA was formed. It is excellent to see such a good job done, worth the wait! A big thank you to Network Rail”.

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What a long wait, seven years, for essential work to repair what affected them, for what affects communities all over the country, including Burscough.

Now a Burscough resident has asked Network Rail to help him in providing some information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Bernie Webster writes “My enquiries relate to Flooding and Drainage matters in the Burscough area, Lancashire. More specifically between and including; Burscough Bridge Train Station, and 200 metres West of United Utilities Waste Water Treatment Site, New Lane, Burscough.

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“I would like information about the Drains, Culverts, and Field Drains
which are located beneath the railway for this entire length. Anecdotal
information from a former employee suggests that Network Rail holds an
“Asset Register” of all such systems.

“May I ask, firstly, 1. Does such an ‘Asset Register’ exist, and secondly
2. Are you able to furnish full details of all drainage assets between
and including the 2 locations mentioned. Further information published earlier this year in the Ormskirk Champion relating to problems at culverts highlights that there are problems other than within the Network Rail boundaries and suggest blockages are outside of Network Rail property, but cause a back up in the System. The Culvert known as the ‘Estate Watercourse Culvert’ which is located approximately 200 mtrs. East of Marsh Moss Lane is known to back up in times of heavy rain.

“3. Can you confirm this is the case, and have you identified whether this is a capacity issue with the Culvert itself, or an issue downstream of the Culvert.

“If it is the case that this is an issue Downstream of the Culvert, then,
4. Have Network Rail brought this to the attention of the Land Owner,
the Lancashire County Council Lead Flood Authority, or any other
Authority so that the issue is addressed.

“I am aware that Network Rail is now in contact with the LLFA at Lancs
CC. 5. Can you please inform me what communication there has been with, (to or from), the LLFA since Boxing Day 2015 through to 11th August 2020 relating to Drainage and Flooding in the Burscough area, and more specifically near to the Crabtree Lane area”.

WLR can assist Mr Webster. Network Rail DOES have an asset register and an Asset Management Policy. We are pleased to tell him “drainage” is a specific matter that “constitutes the operational railway”. And if they tell him anything different it will be bullshit!

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