Some strange Council responses to problems

Some reports of highway defects are being knocked back with “no further action required” responses this year.

One of the deficiencies of the Councils “report it on line” system is that no reason for inaction is given. There was a time when a pothole might go unfilled because it didn’t meet what were styled “the Councils intervention level”. Basically they weren’t judged to be deep enough.

Eventually frost damage would, of course, ensure that it did become bad enough to justify filling.

But there are some very uneven roads which are, perversely, being judged as safe these days

Morrell Court access road potholes which are not judged to require attention

Council officials are also reluctant to send warning letters to drivers who have damaged verges, even when it is obvious who is responsible,

Verges need hard-surfacing to prevent damage

One piece of better news, with local Councillors reporting that work on finishing drainage work on the Osprey Close footpath will recommence shortly. The footpath may be diverted around the worst of the mud with further repairs to the land drains taking place when the area dries out.

Public Right of Way blocked at top of Osprey Close

York flood prevention update

The Council will receive an update report on the progress with flood prevention works at a meeting taking place on 13th January 2020.

Flooding in late December 2015 followed an intense period of rainfall across November and December due to the impacts of Storms Desmond and Eva. Record river levels were observed in many river catchments across the north of England. More than 4000 homes and 2000 businesses flooded across Yorkshire with 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York

Funding was allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) following the floods to renew existing and provide new flood defences across the city, £28m has been allocated to the Foss Barrier improvements and £45m to the wider flood defences across the city.

The Yorkshire Future Flood Resilience Pathfinder project led by City of York Council has recruited three Flood Resilience Project Officers who are in the early stages of the development of a range of demonstration and awareness materials that will be used to build flood resilience across Yorkshire.

Tree may be a hazard if Ouse floods

A self seeded tree on the banks of the Ouse near Lendal Bridge is causing concern.

As well as potentially destabilising the paved bank, (the tree seeded through a crack in the surfacing several years ago) there are concerns that the branches could cause a build up of rubbish during periods of flooding.

We have asked the Council to remove it.

NB. There is a major opportunity for additional tree planting between the Ouse and the railway line nearer to Leeman Road

Flooding Updated

Updated 1500hrs 8th Nov 2019

Flood alerts issued for River Ouse. Not expected to reach a warning level.

Just a reminder that a map indicating long term flooding vulnerability in the City can be found by clicking here.

It covers both surface water (drain capacity) issues and also the potential for rivers and streams to overflow.

There are currently no flood alerts in York although their are warnings in place in other parts of Yorkshire. These are likely to impact on travel arrangements,.

Real time water level gauges can be viewed by clicking here

Flood defence plans criticised by amenity body

The Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows (FRM) are objecting to a plan to raise and extend flood barriers on the river Ouse near Rawcliffe.

Rawcliffe Meadows

They say “FRM believe the Environmental Statement is fundamentally flawed and must be comprehensively revised to give an honest and comprehensive account of the likely destruction of and damage to SSSI grassland”.

They go on to say, “There will be adverse impacts on the Cornfield Nature Reserve which are of regional or at least district-wide significance”.

The comments are revealed in a report to next weeks planning committee which is being recommended to approve the Environment Agency proposals .

The report says, “The application is for works to repair and extend the Clifton Ings barrier bank. This is one of the projects within the agencies flood alleviation scheme (FAS) to reduce flood risk throughout the city. £45 million has been allocated to the EA which will upgrade defences in 19 areas (referred to as flood cells).

The objective of the FAS is to protect against the 1 in 100 year flood (1% AEP) plus climate change and where this cannot be achieved then deliver the maximum level of protection in each cell within the context of existing flood risk and considering other environmental, social and cultural aspects.

The purpose of the barrier bank is to reduce flooding from rivers (fluvial flooding) to the Clifton / Rawcliffe area.

However, during the floods in 2000, water from the river outflanked the flood defences, spilled onto Shipton Road and flooded over 100 homes. The flood basin at Blue Beck also exceeded its capacity in 2000. In these instances, the Environment Agency had to provide temporary pumps to reduce flooding upstream on Blue Beck.

The barrier bank was constructed in 1980. It is of earth fill construction and is up to 4.5m high. The embankments on both sides of the River Ouse currently have issues with stability created by high pressure in the banks when the reservoir empties. This has meant that the drawdown rate for the reservoir has had to be reduced from 1,360mm/day to 300mm/day in order to reduce the risk of failure. This reduction in the drawdown rate significantly impacts on the operation and effectiveness of the reservoir as a flood defence, particularly for any consecutive flood events.

Clifton Ings provides a flood storage reservoir on the eastern side of the River Ouse close to Rawcliffe Park and Ride and the sports clubs Clifton Alliance and York. When not flooded, the northern section of Clifton Ings is used for grazing and the southern section is used as open land by the public. A Sustrans cycle route runs through this area.

During high flow events it has a flood capacity of 2,300,000 m3. It is owned and maintained by the Environment Agency.

The Planning Committee is meeting on Thursday at 4:30pm. The meeting will also consider a separate proposal to create a temporary access route into the site.

Site Plans

Check those drains!

Although surface water flooding is usually associated with winter conditions, issues can arise at this time of year.

We are likely to experience intense rainfall over the next few days.

This means that any blocked drainage channels and gullies will be tested. Residents would be wise to check any public gutters near their properties and report any blockages.

The gully near the Foxwood shops has been blocked for several months. It has got gradually worse as weeds have gone untreated and detritus has accumulated. We have asked for prompt attention.

Some progress on local problems in the Westfield area

We reported that 2 BIFFA bins had been left in the little Green Lane garage area. These have now been removed. Nearby garages have been secured by the Council. A boundary hedge has also been trimmed. Cllr Simon Daubeney is raising the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area with the police.
York’s worst highway surface? We’ve again reported School Street as being in need of resurfacing. UFO contractors are currently in the street reinstating the concrete footpaths
We’ve reported problems with litter and weeds on back Front Street
Residents are being advised to check that local watercourses and drainage ditches are kept free of obstructions. Many become overgrown at this time of year. It may become a potential flooding issued if we get a period of heavy rain.

York flood prevention update due to be discussed next week

Another update on the work being undertaken to prevent flooding in the York area is being considered on 3rd December.

The report has been produced by the Environment Agency.

Details are also provided on the alleviation plans for the Clementhorpe part of the City.

Regular updates have been provided since the flooding in late December 2015 which followed an intense period of rainfall across November and December due to the impacts of Storms Desmond and Eva.

Record river levels were observed in many river catchments across the north of England. More  than 4000 homes and 2000 businesses flooded across Yorkshire with 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York.

Funding has been allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) following the floods to renew existing and provide new flood defences across the city, £17m has been allocated to the Foss Barrier improvements and £45m to the wider flood defences across the city

Click to read full Clementhore update reprt

Click to read full report

Surface water flooding – York Council and Environment Agency plans updated

Gale Lane blocked footway gully

The recent surface water flooding which we saw a few weeks ago is being addressed by the Council. In a report to be considered next week, they say that their Flood Risk Management Team is currently investigating the consequences of the 13th August 2018 storm which affected the city. More than 40mm of rain fell on the city in just over 15 minutes, Rainfall rates more than 120mm/hour were recorded.

The problems seemed to be exacerbated by blocked gullies. This was a problem on some roads where footpath gullies were obstructed.

A policy adopted by the then Labour controlled Council 5 years ago meant that gullies were cleaned only upon report. Due to this reactive cleanse policy in recent years, approximately 53% of drains have been found to be blocked upon attendance.

The Council says the revised gulley cleansing policy aims to proactively cleanse all gullies on the gritting network annually and all other assets are reactively cleansed following reports of issues. “There are more than 43,000 gullies in the CYC area and approximately half of these are on the gritting network”.

The Council has allocated funding, in the period up to 2020, which will allow the whole network to be surveyed, the development of an improved asset register and an effective proactive cleanse of each asset to be carried out. Over the whole programme, which started in 2015, the added investment will have ensured that in the region of 23,000 gullies were left in a free running state that were previously not draining effectively.

Additional gullies cleansed, and data recorded

2015/16 8,000
2016/17 15,074
2017/18 12,810
2018/19 2,468 (to date)

However, more than 900 ‘non-runner’ assets have been identified where the gulley cleansing process could not ensure free drainage and significant engineering works (digging out) are required to improve them. None of the current defects were found to be in a location where property flooding could occur as a direct consequence of severe rainfall.

Separately the meeting will consider an update report from the Environment Agency on tacking river flooding issues across the City. The Agency is doing well in keeping residents briefed on the work that they are doing. They have now started a web site which builds on their communications plan tick here This complements the information  “hub” that they established on Wellington Row.

Generally, the update says that work to improve flood defences is proceeding in line with the agreed timetable

Residents urged to report local blocked gullies and drains

The deluge that engulfed the City yesterday evening produced surface water flooding problems in many areas.

The Council says it is working hard to remedy problems. It asks residents to report issues to FRM@york.gov.uk or call the customer centre on 01904 551550.

These are couple that we reported yesterday.

Tudor Road

Gale Lane