Flooding hell for trapped drivers

Flooding on road out of Caddington.
Flooding on road out of Caddington.

Several people had to be rescued in Caddington after trying to drive through floods as heavy downpours caused chaos on roads in the Dunstable area.

Beds Police were called out to Mancroft Road twice on Saturday morning to help people trapped in their cars and a family were rescued from the same place on New Year’s Day.

Flooding is also causing the Pack Horse pub in Kensworth to lose business as the road outside is closed and sewage from the pub is leaking into the nearby river.

Landlord Edward Newns, 51, said: “The Monday before New Year’s Eve was when I started to get worried. The heavy rain meant the road was flooding and our sewers were leaking.

“On New Year’s Eve the pub was packed but no-one could use the toilets and it smelt of raw sewage. It was embarrassing. Now I can’t let people eat in the restaurant because sewage is coming up under the tiles.

“The water in the road was going down a bit until it rained again on Sunday night. Thames Water have been out and Central Beds Council closed the road but they haven’t done anything else. There is now raw sewage leaking into the river and contaminating the rainwater that’s in the road.”

A Central Beds Council spokesperson said they attended the Pack Horse and found the flooding was being caused by a surcharging foul sewer which can sometimes happen when rain water gets in a foul sewer.

They contacted Anglian Water who sent out a tanker on Monday night to pump away excess water from around the pub.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We are monitoring the area every four hours.

“The recent heavy rain has led to wide-scale flooding across our region and our network is under a lot of strain. Flood water is going into our sewers, which are designed to take only waste water from homes and businesses.

“We’ve drafted in extra teams to help deal with the problems, and they will be working around the clock to help our customers. We are very sorry to any of our customers who have been flooded during this extreme weather.”

The RAC recommends drivers do not attempt to drive through water if unsure of the depth, but if you do, drive steadily and slowly so as not to create a bow wave in front of the vehicle and allow oncoming traffic to pass first.

Beds Police were called out at 10.43am on Saturday to a car stuck in flood water at Aley Green in Mancroft Road, Caddington.

The water was at least a foot deep and police had to close the road. Nobody was injured but the driver was forced to abandon his car and arrange for it to be recovered.

Police were called to nearby Dunstable Road one minute later, where a black Mercedes SKL was stuck in flood water and the driver was rescued.

Two adults and a child were were rescued by firefighters from a car in Dunstable Road when it was stuck in a flood on New Year’s Day at 6.31pm.

Caddington residents described the road as “totally flooded” and one said water came into their car as they drove along the road towards Dunstable.

Flooding on Dunstable Road and Mancroft Road has long been an issue and Central Beds is currently developing a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which they hope will be finished by spring this year.

The council is working in partnership with other flood risk authorities including the Environment Agency, Bedford Group of Internal Drainage and Anglian Water and residents have been consulted.

Central Beds Councillor Richard Stay posted on the Caddington Facebook page that he had been told the land drainage system to the south of Dunstable Road was beyond repair and that a new 500m- long outfall pipe had been constructed across the fields to a point above Mancroft Road late last year. It is now ready for the highway drainage to be connected to it which will be done as soon as possible.

James Hart from Wigmore, Luton, filmed his journey through Caddington along Mancroft Road.

He said: “After encountering a closed road in Caddington I took a detour that ended quite damply. I turned onto Mancroft Road from Piper’s Lane and for what it’s worth, I should have turned left!”

To watch the video go to http://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/video-damp-drive-home-through-flooded-caddington-1-5788646
> Dunstable Food & Wine, in High Street North, Dunstable, is calling for action over persistent flooding outside the store and other premises.

Flooding during heavy rainfall is said to have severely hit trade on two successive weekends.

A Highways Agency representative spoke of the exceptionally heavy rainfall which had affected that area.

The spokesperson said: “The Highways Agency is responsible for the gullies and the connections to the main drain at this location, which are cleared regularly to avoid blockages.

“However, the main carrier drain through Dunstable is the responsibility of Anglian Water, so we will be contacting them as a matter of urgency to investigate and help resolve the issue where we can.”