The response to a Liberal Democrat motion has revealed that Herts County Council has made no progress on a promised highway drainage strategy after more than two years and it is not clear that the work will ever be done. In July 2021 councillors scrutinising how the council deals with all aspects of flooding were told that large parts of the highway drainage system were not maintained, with work only being done after a flooding problem had occurred. They were told that a highway drainage strategy was being prepared that would fix this problem, but it is now clear that this has not happened.
County Councillor Steve Jarvis who proposed the motion said, “Apart from roadside gullies the council doesn’t maintain any of the highways drainage system. It just waits until there is a problem, which in some cases results in people’s homes being flooded, and then fixes the problem. More than two years ago we were told that the council agreed that this was not satisfactory and that there needed to be a plan – the highways drainage strategy – to fix this. Now we are told that they are just continuing to fix problems as they appear and that there is now no plan to change this.”
“The effects of climate change mean that we get more spells of very heavy rain which can overwhelm the road side drains if these are not properly maintained but Herts County Council now apparently has no plans to do this in any sort of systematic way.”