Misery as flood blocks Burley to Menston road again

Wharfedale Observer: The flooded A65 between Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale The flooded A65 between Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale

Flooding on the main road between Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston caused post-festive misery for commuters this week.

A combination of blocked street drains and heavy overnight rain led to the problem on a low-lying stretch of the A65 Burley Road, near Endor Crescent, on Monday morning.

Early morning traffic warnings were given out and flood signs put up, but one motorist ran into trouble after they attempted to drive through only for their car’s engine to cut out, and their vehicle had to be winched out.

Police and firefighters attended to help as Bradford Council workers cleared the road drains, and the route was passable again by 10am.

Residents in Menston and Burley are angry, however, that what has been a recurring flooding problem has still not been tackled despite repeated pleas.

Chairman of Menston Community Association, Dr Steve Ellams, said: “This has been a regular event here as the drains cannot cope.

“This was preventable up to a point, but I have pointed out many times that all the foul water from Menston Village crosses the railway line and goes towards the sewage works, down towards the Wharfe River.

“And the community of Menston has put a lot of effort into proving that there is a flooding and drainage problem, and that 300 more houses – as proposed under two schemes for Derry Hill and Bingley Road – feeding into this old Victorian system will not work.”

Mr Ellams’ predecessor as MCA chairman, Menston resident Alan Elsegood, agreed. He said: “I’ve been asking for those drains to be cleaned for over a year.

“Why should the emergency services be called out to a situation like this which arises simply out of Bradford Council’s neglect?

“Menston has had huge problems with flooding and drainage for several years, mainly because all the water from the moorside runs through Menston and into our Victorian drainage system.

“That system is at its capacity under normal circumstances because it was never designed nor even upgraded to cope with the expansion of the village during the 20th Century. When we get steady rain over a period, the moor and the slopes become saturated and the seasonal springs in the moorside start to discharge groundwater, which adds to the problems as the ground can accept no more surface water.

“That’s what we’ve been telling Bradford Council about their plans for development on the proposed sites at Derry Hill and Bingley Road.

“They’ll flood, and people won’t be able to insure any houses which are built there.”

Burley Parish Council said it also passed on regular concerns about drainage problems to the local authority.

A Bradford Council spokesman said the gullies have now been unblocked and assured residents the problem would not happen again in the near future.

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