Drain clean blitz to be completed in Tunbridge Wells

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

A drain cleaning operation will be carried out in Tunbridge Wells next week after flash floods harmed businesses.

Rain fell so intensely in a half an hour period on Thursday, July 5, that surface water was unable to enter the sewer network fast enough.

This caused sewers, such as those in Nevill Road, to back up and shops to be flooded.

Kent County Council [KCC] is responsible for the operation of drains and was criticised as several drains were found to be clogged with dirt.

The authority has responded and has said work will begin from July 23.
Cllr Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: ‘The town experienced extreme rainfall and sections of the highway drainage system were overwhelmed.

‘I’ve seen the devastation that flooding has caused in Tunbridge Wells and we are determined to do our best to prevent it from reoccurring.’

The streets where drains are set to be cleaned are: Nevill Street, Warwick Park, John Street, Speldhurst Road and Culverden Park Road.

They are routinely cleaned on a six month basis, but County Hall has brought this forward after the flooding. KCC has not stated how long the clean up will take.

Cllr Ronen Basu, of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, said: ‘It’s excellent news that KCC has announced this drain cleaning blitz. Local businesses and residents should not have to experience the dreadful conditions and uncertainty they faced recently because of blocked drains.’

During the programme, parking restrictions and possibly some out of hours road closures will be needed.

KCC has asked drivers not to ignore these signs as parked vehicles can prevent cleaning from taking place.

To report a blocked drain, call 03000 418181.

KCC is also looking to direct some street water directly to the River Grom beneath The Pantiles rather than the combined sewer. A three week project is to begin in August.

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