Advice to help prevent highway flooding

Posted on: September 21, 2022 at 10:34 am Mud on the highway during recent flooding in Arreton

Island Roads is again reminding landowners of what they need to do to prevent highway flooding.

The advice, issued every year, comes after recent events in Arreton when rainwater from adjoining land overwhelmed the highway drainage system and flooded several properties in the village. Around 24 tonnes of silt were removed from this highway by Island Roads in the aftermath of the deluge.

The road drainage system is only designed to carry away water that has fallen onto the highway – not water that enters the network from adjoining land and/or property.

Under the Highways Act, it is an offence to allow water from private land to go onto the highway as it may pose a danger to other road users.

In recent years, Island Roads has worked positively with local organisations, including the NFU and CLA, to promote advice on the steps landowners should take to prevent highway flooding.

For its part, Island Roads carries out regular maintenance of the highway drainage system including drains, gullies and roadside ditches for which it is responsible.

“Though we endeavour do what is required of us, we really do need the support of adjoining landowners who also have a major role to play in preventing highway flooding,” said Steve Ashman, Island Roads service director.

“As we have seen recently, highway flooding can cause a danger to road users and considerable hardship to properties on or near the highway.

“While those who cause highway flooding face prosecution, prevention is, of course, better than cure and we are always ready to discuss with landowners what they need to do to ensure they meet their own responsibilities.”

Working with the Environment Agency, the Isle of Wight Council and Southern Water, Island Roads has produced a leaflet, Ditch It! explaining more about flooding issues and outlining the steps landowners need to take to prevent it.

Isle of Wight NFU chair Robyn Munt said: “Farmers are constantly looking at ways to increase the retention of water and soil on our land, in the best interests of sustainable farming businesses and road users.

“We are happy to work with Island Roads to promote its important messages around flooding as the farming community recognises the role it has to play in this important issue.”

Cllr Phil Jordan, IW Council cabinet member responsible for highways and transportation said: “Recent events at Arreton provided a really vivid reminder of the misery that highway flooding can cause so I am really pleased Island Roads continues to work closely with local organisations to help reduce the risk of future incidents.”

Island Roads’ advice on flooding can be found here