Rothwell resident and former Rothwell councillor Brian Walker contacted both me and the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council to try and get an on-going problem of the blocked culvert under railway lines near Fleet Lane, Woodlesford resolved. It was causing problems for youngsters not being able to use their local football facilities.
The Rothwell Juniors football club which Brian has worked with for many years was having problems with the pitches flooding at their Fleet Lane base. As well as this, there has also been flooding to agricultural fields on Fleet Lane. The blocked culvert has been causing substantial flooding for the last two years to the sports fields of Rothwell FC and also to Fleet Lane itself so it was frustrating that no action seemed to have been taken to try and resolve this issue. The blockage of the culvert was caused by one of Network Rail’s contractors some time ago, but Network Rail had continued to delay the resolution of this problem without good reason.
I wrote a joint letter with my ward colleague David Nagle to call for urgent action so that this matter could be resolved and the appropriate work can be carried out without further delay, because as well as the flooding to pitches and fields, there are health and safety implications at this site.
We received a prompt reply to our letter to Network Rail. Network Rail reported that the work needed to rectify the situation has now been developed and it would now submit an authority paper to its internal investment panel. We were also notified in the letter that the funding had been identified and that it would shortly have a firm timescale for implementation of the project.
Network Rail said that the delay to the project has been due to the time needed to obtain the detailed ground condition information necessary to design the new culvert required to alleviate the flooding. The work required will involve the thrust boring of a new pipe beneath the railway.
I’m well aware of the on-going flooding problems and have got the highways department involved before when the road was flooded a couple of years ago, when water had to be pumped from the road. The action from Network Rail is long overdue, it is only right that it should rectify a situation caused by its contractor. I now look forward to seeing the work carried out as soon as possible and I’m pleased that Brian brought this to my attention and that we could also be of some help.