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A25 Ladymead Floods Due To ‘Exceptional Rainfall’ And Blocked Drains

Published on: 8 Sep, 2022
Updated on: 10 Sep, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

The A25 at Ladymead, opposite the supermarket Lidl, was under several inches of water on Wednesday, September 6 at around 4.45pm during the rush hour causing traffic jams in both directions.

A25 at Ladymead was flooded on Wednesday, September 6 during the evening rush hour. Photo Jordan Hone (Guildford Town Past and Present Facebook).

A Surrey County Council highways spokeswoman said it was due to “exceptional rainfall combined with the drains being covered by surface debris”.

She said: “A SCC highways maintenance officer was on site at 5pm to clear debris from drains and within 30 minutes, the water had dissipated from the highway.”

Flooding on Ladymead on September 6. Photo by Greg Foster.

There are reports that the road is regularly flooded after heavy rain. Photographs from the Facebook site for Guildford Town Past and Present confirm flooding on that section of the A25 going back to at least 1968.

In response to a Dragon query to SCC whether it is prone to flooding and if there are any plans to improve the situation, the spokesperson said there were no maintenance works planned for the carriageway. She said: “The road has flooded previously due to an obstruction in the Thames Water carrier at this location, causing it to surcharge onto the carriageway.

Ladymead flooded in the same area in August 27, 2020. Photo credit: Lewis Goddard (Guildford Town Past and Present Facebook).

She added: “Although it’s impossible to attribute any specific event to climate change, we know from experience that climate changes are causing an increased frequency and severity of flood events.

“The latest projections from UKCP18 (United Kingdom Climate Projections 2018) show that we are likely to see an increase in total winter rainfall by about 10 per cent by 2050, but summer showers will be heavier too.

“We use the Environment Agency climate change allowance of 20 to 35 per cent increase in rainfall intensity to ensure drainage on future development is correctly managed. The changes in weather patterns will necessitate a change in behaviour but also how we design and build our properties and infrastructure.”

Floods at Ladymead with the junction with Woodbridge Road in September 1968. Photographed by Dave Trutzenbach (Guildford Town Past and Present Facebook).

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Responses to A25 Ladymead Floods Due To ‘Exceptional Rainfall’ And Blocked Drains

  1. Ricky Sonn Reply

    September 9, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    This is going to become a major issue. When you’re walking around Guildford take a look at the state of the highway gullies.

    “Surface debris” is a huge understatement. So many are permanently blocked and perform little, if any, effective role.

    Together with the removal of so much soil and debris and the increasingly heavy downpours that we are already witnessing, this will inevitably lead to additional episodes of properties being ruined by flooding in the town.

  2. Keith Francis Reply

    September 11, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    In 1968 my wife and I had just returned from holiday (actually our honeymoon). We were living in Woking and using the Aldershot & District buses to get to work in Guildford on the High Street at the time of the September 1968 flooding. The floods were deliberately made worse because the lock gates along the River Wey kept closed to protect London.

    We were advised to leave our jobs early as there was no guarantee how long the buses would run that afternoon.

    The same tactic of closing the lock gates was applied to the River Mole and the effect of all this was to create massive flooding of homes, roads, businesses and across fields including tributaries as the two rivers merge at Molesey before entering the River Thames.

  3. Dave Middleton Reply

    September 12, 2022 at 11:39 am

    Ricky Sonn is correct about lack of maintenance. Take the A320 Woking Road from Clay Lane to the roundabout at Woodlands Road / Hazel Avenue. Quite apart from the Salt Box Road roundabout flooding in even moderate rain due to inadequate drainage, just about every other gully drain along the road is blocked and floods any time it rains for more than an hour.

    Yes, the gully sucker clears the drain sumps out occasionally, but the connecting drainage pipes are not flushed through, so the drains sumps cannot empty as the water can’t flow away.

    As an aside, the top part of Manor Road at Stoughton was recently resurfaced, which was lovely, but some of the gully drains in the resurfaced section now stand above the road surface by up to an inch, meaning that the water runs around them, rather than down them! Presumably another example of the Highways Department contractors “checking and signing off as correct” their own works.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      September 12, 2022 at 2:03 pm

      Interesting that Mr Middleton has mentioned connecting pipes.

      There is a solid and ‘absolutely’ amazing reason for this – several years ago in Merrow a contract for gully cleaning was drawn up with SCC which provided for two jobs, one for cleaning the gully “grit pit”, the other for cleaning the connecting pipe. When out on gully cleaning a if a connecting pipe was considered in need of cleaning a new job ticket was raised. This means that instead of doing the job efficiently at the same time, the very same gulley cleaner vehicle, with pipe jetting equipment, could return on another day, with exactly the same personnel, to complete the job.

      Such was the intelligence of the contract writer at SCC not understanding that it would make far more sense and save taxpayers’ money to clean the pipe as part of the gully cleaning process. The current method only increases the profit of the subcontractor by allowing a two-visit solution with two job tickets, two charges and two invoices.

      If only SCC officials and councillors were financially responsible for the contracts they sign off.

      • Paul Robinson Reply

        September 14, 2022 at 6:52 am

        The same equally applies to potholes. The contractors will repair one and leave the three adjacent ones until weeks/months later, wasting time and fuel to return to the same location.

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