Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Volunteers clear ditch
Environment - 02.04.2010
 show PHOTO - Volunteers in Fifield Road

During 2009 the Environment Work Group highlighted the necessity for ditch clearance in Fifield Road along the stretch by the speed hump near Longlea Nursing Home. In Autumn 2009 Streetcare issued a notice to the Gas Utility of their intention to carry out drainage work.

The Gas Board responded with a request for further consultation before any work was carried out. Since then the Gas Utility appear to have been in hibernation. So on Sunday November 15 2009, in an attempt to alleviate the water back-up on the road at this spot, OGAFCAP volunteers did some manual clearance of the short stretch of ditch near the speed hump and cut slots in the verge to allow water trapped on the road to escape.

Much time has passed since then and repeated attempts have been made to obtain information on the progress of the "further consultation". Towards the end of March 2010 the Environment Group were informed by Streetcare that in the absence of any further response from the Gas Board they had issued a third notice of their intention to carry out drainage work at this location. Hopefully this will serve to jolt someone awake at the Gas Utility.

In the meantime water has again been backing up and onto the road and it has also become obvious that the pipe under the SEW Pipeline site entrance opposite Longlea Nursing Home is blocked.

So on Sunday March 28 2010 five OGAFCA volunteers gathered again at the speed hump with spades, rakes, mattock and pick axe. In the process of clearing an additional channel to allow water to flow northward discarded blocks of concrete and bricks buried in the ditch route alongside a Telecom access in the verge were discovered to be a major part of the problem. These were removed and a channel cleared. The pipe under the SEW site entrance was also cleared.

This work is only a temporary alleviation of the problem and a proper ditch still needs to be re-instated along this route. But hopefully for the moment excess water is now able to escape from this trap and we will continue to press for the full solution to be carried out before next Autumn.