I journey to and fro along Northcote Road every day and months and months and months ago I decided to write to the Highways Agency requesting that a blocked drain at the entrance to Northcote Manor be repaired.
What sort of message Northcote thought it presented to their well-heeled customers, I can’t imagine. In order to ensure I covered all eventualities I also contacted United Utilities, as the road was constantly flooded, over a stretch of some one hundred metres, dry spells not withstanding. I had pointed out to the authorities that there was a danger of skidding on the water and heaven help us, should the matter remain unresolved, when the thermometer falls below freezing.
Eventually, this autumn, someone girded their loins and workmen appeared to solve the problem, except they haven’t. The road is now holding surface water several hundred yards lower down by the stables, where clearly another drain is blocked.
Your older readers will remember the days when these roadside drains were regularly cleared out by slow-moving suction vehicles. When did you last see one ? Luckily, this autumn has been significantly drier than other years but if we fail to maintain roadside drains, while concreting over the Ribble Valley, just where is this excess surface water to go? Answers on a postcard please to the Highways Department and the various utility companies.
Should there be a repetition of last year’s storms then, no doubt, we will have the usual hand wringing from our political representatives who seem never to have heard of the old adage “ fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.