Bramley Parish Council Noticeboard

Help fight winter flooding!

Following heavy downpours and a recent tornado in another part of our County, Bramley Parish Council, along with Hampshire County Council, is encouraging residents to clear ditches on their own land and play their part in preventing localised flooding this winter.

When flooding does occur HCCs team of emergency engineers is on call seven days a week to unblock highway drains, coordinate work with the police and other emergency services and clear fallen trees from roads - all to keep the county's roads clear and traffic flowing. Residents can help by reporting problems online.

The County Council spends more than £2 million a year maintaining 900 kilometres of highway drains and more than 200,000 roadside gullies but there are many gullies and watercourses on private land which can be blocked during autumn from fallen leaves. These blockages can often lead to flooding on local roads after heavy rainfall.

Residents are also being asked to ensure that piped sections of watercourses that lie under driveways or elsewhere on your property are kept clear, as it is these restricted locations that are often the most vulnerable to flooding and need the most attention. If you take the time now to check any ditches or drains on your property, you may help to prevent your road and property from being too affected by heavy rainfall and flash floods.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "We can't prevent flooding completely but, with autumn weather well and truly here and leaves about to fall, there is a lot that we can do to reduce the impact on our neighbourhoods. I am asking local residents if they can regularly check ditches and watercourses on their own land to make sure they are clear of leaves, vegetation and other debris and not blocked up by grass cuttings or other rubbish."

Whose responsibility is it?

If you have a drain on your property it is your responsibility to keep it clear from blockages. If you have a ditch alongside your property, even if it is on the other side of your garden fence, it is likely that you are responsible for keeping it clear from blockages.

The environment agency website has a guide for people who own land or property alongside a river or other watercourse including a culvert. It explains your rights and responsibilities as a riverside property owner and can be found on this link.

A watercourse is any natural or artificial channel that water flows through, such as a river, including where a river flows through a culvert, brook, beck, or mill stream. If you own property alongside a watercourse, you are a 'riparian owner'.

Some of your responsibilities include:

·       maintaining river beds and banks

·       allowing the flow of water to pass without obstruction

·       controlling invasive alien species such as Japanese knotweed

We can all do our bit!

Hampshire County Council have done their bit – they recently replaced the culvert in Bramley Lane near Browns Close so that the water flow is corrected, to prevent nearby homes from flooding as they have done in the past.

And we have done our bit! Bramley Parish Council employed a contractor in the late summer to clear the ditches around Bramley Green – they are clearing branches, debris and removing silt around the culvert entrance to make sure the water flow is not obstructed. We will now be able to see whether we need to do further work to stop the balancing pond at lane end flooding as it did last year. By clearing the ditches that the pond drains into, it may be that the water flow is restored well enough that the balancing pond can manage heavy rainfall better than last year but we will monitor this.

We know there are some areas in our village which seem to flood regularly and we are asking HCC to try to find solutions to these, including near the bridge at Cufaude Lane. If you know there is an area with higher risk of danger, please approach these areas with extra caution.

It is difficult to deal with sudden heavy rainfall and flash flooding, so when there is a danger, please do take extra care on the roads. Hampshire constabulary offer the advice that driving in rain will double your stopping distance, meaning you are at greater risk of collision.

Check out the tips below to help stay safe on the roads in wet weather.

·         Motorists should ensure that they maintain a safe distance and slow to a safe speed, as there will be a reduction in tyre grip.

·         If steering is suddenly unresponsive then it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road surface properly, so brake slowly and gently in order to slow down.  

·         Rain and spray from other vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen. Drivers should therefore keep well back from the vehicle in front, and maintain a safe distance.  

·         On flooded roads, don't attempt to cross the water if it is too deep. Drive slowly in first gear and keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch. This will also stop you from stalling.  

·         Avoid the deepest water, normally nearest the curb, and remember to test your brakes after you drive through water by pressing down on the brake pedal gently.

The AA and RAC offer some winter driving advice on their websites, including looking after your tyres and keeping them at the correct pressure, remembering to top up anti-freeze, and how to prepare your car fully before driving including fully clearing your windscreen.

More information:

For work Hampshire County Council does against floodinghttp://www3.hants.gov.uk/flooding

To visit the Parish Council’s website for a ‘report it’ section on the home page: http://www.bramleypc.co.uk/

For riparian landowner advice: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31626.aspx

For flood warnings: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/default.aspx

Like us on facebook or follow us on twitter for up-to-date winter alerts: @bramleypc

 

 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017