Call for action to halt dangerous flooding on M65 motorway

Flooding on the M65 is becoming a dangerous issue
Flooding on the M65 is becoming a dangerous issue

Pendle Council and local MP Andrew Stephenson are urging Lancashire County Council to tackle the hazardous problem of flooding of the M65 between Brierfield and Colne.

The warning comes after prolonged rainfall has again seen parts of the M65 flooded with standing water in the overtaking lanes.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and County Coun. Andrew Snowden

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and County Coun. Andrew Snowden

In the run up to Christmas concerns were raised about flooding between junctions 12 and 14 of the M65 between Brierfield and Colne. The section of the motorway is maintained by Lancashire County Council, who installed a concrete barrier along the central reservation in 2015.

Pendle Council leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal has written to the county council, which has responsibility for highways, demanding action over the "alarming" dangers being posed by flooding on the motorway.

He said: "Motorists have been ploughing into standing water at high speed and we have been flagging this hazard up repeatedly with Lancashire County Council.

“I have heard that cars have been aquaplaning and spray from cars and lorries is an additional hazard which is also affecting visibility for drivers on the opposite carriageway. I’ve seen dashcam footage which shows this happening and it is alarming.

“Motorists are understandably really worried about the situation and action needs to be taken.

“I have written to Lancashire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Highways, Keith Iddon, spelling out the dangers again. I’ve repeated our fears that there is a substantial risk of serious injury or death.

“I am not alone in worrying that there may be a fundamental design issue with the central reservation barrier that is causing these problems."

Meanwhile, newly re-elected MP Andrew Stephenson has met with the county council's lead member for highways, County Coun. Andrew Snowden, to discuss the issue.

He said: "I know many people have been concerned about the reoccurring flooding on the M65 between Burnley and Colne.

"I opposed the removal of the lights from the M65 and the recent flooding, combined with the lack of lighting has been an issue of great concern. I have raised the issue with Lancashire County Council. This weekend I was pleased to welcome County Coun. Snowden, Lead Member for Highways, to Pendle to discuss residents' concerns in person.

"He provided me with an update on what steps Lancashire County Council is taking to address the matter. These include cyclic maintenance, which is undertaken to clean the gullies and mechanically sweep the drainage channels.

"There is also a drainage improvement work programmed for early 2020 which will include increasing the size of the grates on the gullies to help with the water flow. I shall continue to work with colleagues at LCC to ensure the flooding issue is appropriately dealt with."