The efforts of a local volunteer, Michael, are helping to keep drainage ditches in Acomb Wood clear of vegetation.
After periods of heavy rain the ditches through Acomb Wood between Girvan Close and Alness Drive often fill up, and so keeping them clear boosts their capacity and reduces the flood risk to nearby properties.
As well as clearing the ditches of vegetation and leaves, Michael also maintains and improves the area alongside the path through the wood that links Acomb Wood Drive with Alness Drive.
Cllr Stephen Fenton said “For many years Michael has spent a huge amount of his own time maintaining and improving this area for residents to enjoy, His ditch clearing work is particularly important in reducing the risk of surface water flooding.
“Many hands make light work, so it would be great if other local residents could volunteer as much or as little time as they have to help keep our green open spaces in good condition. If anyone can help, please get in touch with me on 787988.”
City of York Council has set out a timetable for work to invest £5m on Tadcaster Road, following the award of the funding from the Department of Transport’s Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.
The funding will enable to council to improve large sections of drainage along the route which will reduce localised surface water flooding. The work will include the delivery of additional pedestrian crossings and will ensure the road is maintenance free for the next 10 years.
Local councillors have for some time been pressing for a pedestrian refuge to be installed on Tadcaster Road near to the junction with Nelsons Lane to enable residents alighting the bus to be able to cross the road safely. It is hoped that this scheme will now be delivered as part of these works.
During the council’s liaison with the major utility companies to co-ordinate future work, it became apparent that Northern Gas Networks (NGN), were due to carry out major work in 2023. They have brought this work forward to October 2020 to ensure that disruption for residents and commuters is minimised. The council works are then scheduled to start in January 2021.
The council could have made NGN wait for three years before digging up the road, but that would have led to longer term issues of the road surface once again becoming a ‘patchwork’ of reinstatements. By bringing the NGN work forward, there is the opportunity to undertake proper reinstatement as part of the wider package of work.
The council has published some FAQs, set out below, which address questions and concerns that residents may have, such as why the NGN work is being done so soon after a section of Tadcaster Road was resurfaced.
Q. Wasn’t part of Tadcaster Road resurfaced earlier this year? A. Yes. The council bid to Government for a scheme on Tadcaster Road but received confirmation in March that it was unsuccessful and would not receive funding. Therefore the council resurfaced a section of Tadcaster Road as it was in need of urgent repairs between The Horseshoe and St Aubyns Place.
However, in June the council was then awarded the £5million funding to improve large sections of drainage along Tadcaster Road which will reduce the risk of localised surface water flooding.
Northern Gas Networks recently informed the council they have plans to carry out major works to their service at Tadcaster Road by 2025. The council was not made aware of these works before the section of Tadcaster Road between The Horseshoe and St Aubyns Place was resurfaced earlier this year.
Whilst it is not an ideal situation, the council would rather sacrifice a small part of the works that have been undertaken already rather than risk the digging up of the major £5 million scheme in a few years’ time for the Northern Gas Networks scheme.
The council and Northern Gas Networks have agreed to coordinate their programmes of works for the benefit of the larger Tadcaster Road scheme.
This coordination of works will see Northern Gas Networks advance their programme for delivery in 2020. The utility repair works will be carried out on the inbound carriageway only from 10 October for 16-20 weeks. As these works will affect 50% the recently surfaced road, the council will resurface this affected section again by recycling the material onsite. The council is planning to commence the drainage works in January 2021 followed by highways works and road resurfacing, these works are expected to take up to 9 months to complete.
Full details will be communicated in advance of the works, including letters to residents and businesses.
Pedestrian access will be permitted and maintained at all times, but vehicle access may be prohibited at times with traffic management (traffic lights). Everything possible will be done to keep this distribution to a minimum.
Q. Where are the works happening? A. The current scope of the £5m Highways maintenance works includes the full stretch of Tadcaster Road.
A full assessment of the road’s condition will be carried out in advance. This will help to determine the full details of the works including in addition to the resurfacing and drainage works, is if there is capacity to look at additional crossing points as well as improvements to the crossing points, footway or cycle routes, for example.
Q. Why are we doing it? A. There are serious defects we could not address without the significant level of funding from DFT, these include the road surface and drainage network, so this scheme will improve the quality of the overall highway. There are currently 35 non-running gullies and several hundred metres of un-mapped drainage, meaning this route particularly suffers during times of heavy rain and localised surface water flooding. The proposed scheme would deliver remediation measures to the road’s drainage, ensure its resurfacing is fit-for-purpose and can continue to meet the needs of its cycling users and support the local economy and the wider area.
Q. What is the impact on traffic during the works? A. A traffic management plan will be created in advance, alongside NGN, and communicated to residents and businesses. These works will be delivered under lane closures and traffic lights, which will be monitored closely on site by traffic marshals. Journey times may be affected, however we will be doing everything we can to keep this to a minimum.
Q. What will happen to public transport and buses? A. Residents and visitors are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes which will be busier than normal and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible. Bus services will generally be operating as normal for the majority of the works, as per national social distancing rules.
Q. Will I still be able to cross the road? A. Temporary crossing points will be available at all times during the works to ensure that all pedestrian crossings that are currently available are maintained. Traffic marshals will be on site to assist with pedestrians crossing the road.
Q. Will I still be able to access shops, cafe/restaurants in the area? A. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times. We will be engaging with traders and businesses in the area to help promote the “open as usual” message. Vehicular access for deliveries will be maintained.
Q. What if I live or work in the area? A. Access to all properties and businesses will be retained at all times. Traffic marshals will be on hand to assist if vehicle access is prohibited at certain times.
Q. What about alternative travel plans? A. Residents and visitors are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible. Bus services will generally be operating as normal for the majority of the works but passengers are requested to visit www.itravelyork.info for more information.
Following complaints raised by local Lib Dem councillors, works are underway on Tadcaster Road to improve surface water drainage outside the shops near the junction with Slingsby Grove.
The solution (hopefully!)
The parking bay next to the bus stop build-out is regularly flooded and the drainage channel clogged up with leaf mulch. It is hoped that new drainage arrangements will improve the situation and make it less likely that motorists will choose to park in the adjacent ‘Loading Only’ layby, which causes line of sight issues for residents exiting Slingsby Grove.
A number of blocked drains on Tadcaster Road are thought to have been caused by tree roots.
Cllr Stephen Fenton recently reported three blocked drains near to the entrance to Little Hob Moor. Investigations by council officers have indicated that a likely cause of the blockage is tree roots in a Yorkshire Water sewer.
We’ll be pressing for action that will enable the drains to be unblocked as soon as possible.
On the 4th December, Cllr Stephen Fenton spoke at a council meeting to highlight local concerns regarding the risk of flooding from overflowing drainage ditches.
On Boxing Day in 2015, homes on Coeside and Nevis Way in Woodthorpe narrowly avoided being inundated with water, gushing from an overflowing ditch at the back of the properties – pictured below.
Since then, work has been carried out to clear drainage ditches downstream and it is hoped this will result in quicker and more effective drainage of the ditch behind the houses.
Stephen spoke at a Decision Session for the Council’s Executive Member for the Environment on 4 December, at which a Gulley Management Strategy Review was discussed. He circulated photographs taken in September (see below) which show the ditch choked by vegetation, raising concerns that when it dies back, it will settle on the floor of the ditch and reduce capacity.
Stephen said “I want to highlight the importance of drainage ditches in the ward and I am keen to ensure that their maintenance is not overlooked as the council decides how to prioritise the resources that it has available.
“I am grateful to Council staff for the investment already made in clearing out the drainage channels downstream from the ditch that overflowed in 2015. I am also pleased that we were able to dedicate some Ward Committee funds to help pay for some digging out of the ditch to be done.”
The council is taking action to address drainage issues in Woodthorpe.
Work is underway to unblock a drainage channel that runs from Acomb Wood Drive to Alness Drive and beyond.
The channel had been affected by tree roots, which have been removed. Work is also being undertaken to dig out the channel, in order to increase capacity and reduce the flood risk to nearby properties.
Alness Drive, looking down the woodland path towards Acomb Wood Drive
York residents to receive £500 to support clean-up process as part of financial support package for residents and businesses
York residents whose homes have been internally flooded will receive a one-off payment of £500 from City of York Council later this week to help support the clean-up process.Residents who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit and have been identified as having their homes being flooded* will receive the funding directly in their bank account.
Those paying by other methods will need to collect their payment by bringing photographic ID (e.g. a passport or driving licence) and a proof of address (e.g. utility bill) to the council’s Customer Contact Centre at West Offices on Station Rise. If someone is collecting payment on behalf of a resident, they will need to bring proof of ID and address for themselves, as well as the same ID for the flooded resident.
Residents whose homes have been flooded internally will also be entitled to a Council Tax exemption from 27 December 2015-31 March 2016 inclusive. Residents of all internally flooded properties will automatically receive an updated bill over the next few days.
Anyone who hasn’t received their amended Council Tax bill by 15 January should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 551558.
Refunds will be issued over the next few days to Council Tax payers who are in credit after the flood exemption has been awarded.
There are also a number of other financial support options for residents affected by flooding:
· The York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS) provides help for residents in financial difficulty to continue to live in the local community. More information about the Scheme is available at www.york.gov.uk/yfas email email@example.com or phone 0808 1685238 (during normal office hours 8.30am to 5.30pm).
· York residents whose homes have been flooded, who are on a low income, have little capital and who are not adequately insured, may be eligible for help from York’s Disaster Fund, a registered charity which was established after flooding in York in 2000. Applications for this will be managed by the council for all customers, including those who do not qualify for YFAS. For more information about how to apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0808 1685238.
£240,000 has so far been donated towards the £250,000 target for the York Flood Appeal. Click to donate
· Up to £5,000 Future Flood Prevention Funding is available for property owners and those who are responsible for maintaining the fabric of a property that has been flooded. This is to improve the property in order to prevent future flood damage. To apply for this please contact the council tax team on email@example.com or phone 01904 551558.
Businesses which have been affected by the floods are currently being visited by City of York Council representatives.
· Up to £2,500 is available for businesses affected by the floods through the Flood Recovery Fundfor businesses.
· Businesses which have been flooded will need to apply for an exemption to their Business Rates. Please contact the business rates team at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 551140.
· Up to £5,000 in Future Flood Prevention Funds (Commercial)is available for commercial property owners and those who are responsible for maintaining the fabric of a property that has been flooded. This is to improve the property in order to prevent future flood damage. To apply for this please email email@example.com or phone 01904 554455.
Steve Stewart, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “We hope that these one-off payments will help York residents and businesses whose homes and properties were flooded to get back on their feet. However, we would still advise people who are covered by insurance to liaise directly with their insurance companies and ensure they employ reputable trades people to undertake work on their property.”
The government has also agreed to match-fund any York flood-related donations made to registered charities, such as the York Flood Appeal. More information about how to donate to the Appeal is available at www.trcf.org.uk/
Nestle, one of York’s largest employers, has today (Thursday 31 December) donated £100,000 to the York Flood Appeal – taking the fund to £137,000 in just 48 hours.
The appeal, which was only launched on Tuesday, will help York residents affected by the flooding to get back on their feet. Funds will provide essential household items, such as carpets and washing machines, and the costs of living in temporary accommodation or paying for extra heating.
Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland said: “As one of York’s biggest employers it has been very concerning to see the effect of these floods on the local community. We want to join those who have rallied round to support the relief effort, including many of our employees, and we have already been able to provide food, drink and other supplies. We now hope this £100k donation will help the York Flood Appeal provide vital support to those in need at such a difficult time.”
The York Disaster Fund – a local charity established in 2000 in response to the floods that year – set up the York Flood Appeal. The Two Ridings Community Foundation, the local community foundation for York, North & East Yorkshire is hosting the appeal on behalf of the charity.
Steve Stewart, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from both businesses and members of the public who have offered their time, donations and financial assistance to give relief to the people directly affected and the communities around them. We thank Nestle for this generous donation, which will undoubtedly go a long way to helping York residents get back on their feet.”
Anyone needing to apply to the fund should get in touch with City of York Council on 01904 551550.