Bolton Council’s announces more flood defence plans

Work to stop roads resembling rivers when there is heavy rainfall will be taking place across the borough.

Money is to be spent improving water drainage from roads as well as flooding in general.

The council has previously secured a pot of money from the Department for Transport – £760,000 to be shared with Tameside Council – to be spent on improve highway drainage.

This was used to proactively address issues on the roads, rather than diverting money earmarked for other projects.

Prior to the funding, the council’s  would use its own cash to address issues  ‘reactively’, the council admits.

Now that ‘proactive’ work will run into next year , with a further £100,000 aimed at remedying the worst affected areas.

A council report stated: “Whilst not bringing total solution to highway drainage problems, it will go some way to remedying the worst affected areas.”

Last month, roads and gardens were flooded in Westhoughton as a result of sudden high volumes of rainwater which was unable to drain away.

READ MORE: Westhoughton flash floods leave residents wanting action

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “There are many areas across the borough which require investment, and this varies from gulley pot replacement to the construction and replacement of highway drains. 

“At the stage, the works programme is still being finalised and there are no works scheduled until next year.”

There are other new schemes that are concerned with combating the risk of flooding in the pipeline too.

The Council is spending £20,000 surveying plans to improve approximately eight inlet structures and screens in waterways throughout the borough to improve the flow of water.

A further £20,000 will be spent on exploring the feasibility of a flood alleviation scheme in Lenham Gardens, Breightmet. The idea is to capture and remove surface water in a low spot in the area.

The spokesperson added: “The schemes are centred on minimising flood risk. 

Westhoughton flooding on Birch Avenue in September (Image: Claire Ashcroft)

“At this stage we are trying to understand the potential flood risk and how we may be able to reduce this risk. 

“Based on the findings of the feasibility study we would then make applications to the Environment Agency for scheme funding.”

On top of this, considerable funding is being pumped into existing schemes, such as the £1.8m Horwich Town Centre Flood Alleviation scheme at Old Station Park which will create a flood basin to protect around 200 homes from overflow from Pearl Brook.

“The Horwich Town Centre Flood Alleviation Scheme, which aims to reduce the risk of flooding to Horwich Town Centre from Pearl Brook, is on course to be completed on time in mid-December 2022,” the spokesperson confirmed.

READ MORE: Horwich Old Station Park flood alleviation scheme will retain trees

“The contractor is currently completing the drainage work and has also commenced relaying the topsoil across Old Station Park.

Floods last hit Horwich in 2021 (Image: Ady Taylor)

“Highway drainage improvements have also recently been completed on Winter Hey Lane at the junction with Chorley New Road and similar work is currently taking place in two adjacent back streets, which are particularly vulnerable to flooding due to being in a low spot in the topography – again, this is intended to reduce the risk of flooding in these locations.”

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