Flooding in Hatfield 'damages' vehicles

Flooding on St Albans Road West in Hatfield, Hertfordshire

"For everyday cars, floods of this nature are a serious issue." - Credit: Matthew Blakemore

Repeated flooding across Hatfield has left residents frustrated with County Hall's slow response times.

Resident Matthew Blakemore first noticed flooding on St Albans Road West, by the De Havilland Close turning, a few days after Christmas. The water persisted for one week and dried up on its own, only to come back again on January 3. 

For some people, driving down the road to reach their homes is unavoidable. Matthew said: "My partner found that the flood activated her car's hydrolock and she now has to park far from home to avoid driving through it.

"This is not ideal as she is also a care worker and works very long shifts to very late at night."

Matthew is also concerned that the water could damage vehicles' brake lines if they park soon after driving through the flood.

In Wellfield Road, a pool of water has gathered around a traffic light crossing causing the pavement to become muddy and slippery.

Flooding by traffic lights down Wellfield Road in Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Flooding by traffic lights down Wellfield Road. - Credit: Adam Edwards

Adam Edwards said he has reported this issue many times since February 2020 but it has never been fixed.

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A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “We have an annual programme of cleaning out highway drains, however when there is a prolonged period of rain the ground can become saturated and drainage systems can be temporarily overwhelmed."

Elizabeth Grigg is also frustrated by the repeated flooding on Hatfield's Great North Road. She reported the problem in June 2021. HCC assured her that an engineer would examine the location before the New Year. However, an engineer has yet to come and the flooding returned in December and the first week of January.

Phil Bibby, executive member for highways and transport at HCC, said: "We are well aware of this issue and have programmed a team, with appropriate equipment, to carry out a four-day investigation this coming March - unfortunately, Covid pressures on our resources have slightly delayed this.

"Then we will be able to assess what needs to be done to alleviate the flooding and programme necessary work.

"In view of the increase in severe rain events caused by climate change, and our ageing drainage infrastructure being unable to cope in many locations, last year Hertfordshire County Council committed £10m over 4 years, in addition to our normal maintenance budgets, towards tackling this problem across the County."