'Fatality waiting to happen' - Farmer urges action on flooded road

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. Pic

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A Norfolk farmer has said he is concerned that floodwater on a road outside his farm is “a fatality waiting to happen” for passengers in vehicles.

David Hill, who owns Old Hall Farm on the Watton Road (A1075) near Shipdham, said Norfolk County Council had failed to unblock a drain on the road.

Mr Hill said the council had been alerted to the drain at least a year ago and his neighbour continues to contact them every month to have it repaired. 

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. Pic

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. - Credit: Denise Bradley

“They’ve sent diggers and blokes with shovels, huffed and puffed but actually done nothing about it,” said Mr Hill. 

“Unblocking a drain is not great science and doesn’t require very much effort,” he added.


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Mr Hill said he had even contacted the police about the problem, but was told that they could not help. 

“When you’re coming along at 40mph and you don’t know the road, and you suddenly find water halfway across the road, and you’ve got a lorry coming the other way, it’s a bit of a confrontation,” he said. 

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He added that the flooding was so persistent that the road has effectively become a one-way street.

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. Pic

The flood on the A1705 at Shipdham thought to be caused by a blocked drain an overflowing ditch. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A Norfolk county council spokesperson said: “Rural flooding issues are often complex and many parties are involved, or need to be involved, in any solutions, so we are keen to work with MPs, local councils, Anglian Water and other agencies to make sure we all can deal with this growing problem.”

“We know that many pipes, ditch, and river drainage systems are at or near capacity due to the heavy rain that has been falling on already saturated ground leading to surface water taking longer to drain away than usual.

“We have inspected the location at Shipdham where we have received reports of flooding affecting the highway and we will be working to ensure our highway drains are clear and working as intended.”

At a county council meeting last week, cabinet member for the environment Andy Grant said the council would investigate whether council-owned drains were working properly. 

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