Thursday, April 26, 2012

Down the Drain?

Patsy writes:
Good morning Alan

Yesterday I navigated the series of Great Lakes which is Barkingside High Street after rain.

Lake Ontario, outside the DIY shop, is clearly the result of a blocked drain. Lake Eyrie (outside Boots Opticians) and Lake Michigan (totally surrounding the aesthetically challenged bench outside Choice) are not. Like all the others, on every stretch of pavement, they result from badly laid paving.

Under Freedom of Information could we discover who laid the paving and how much they were paid for doing a sub-standard job, and get them back to try to do a better one? It seems our money is going down the drain while the rainwater is staying in the puddles.

Kind regards
Patsy 
We have asked the FOI office and copied in Fullwell and Fairlop Ward Councillors.

14 comments:

  1. If Flanders and Swann were still around they could write one of their songs about it. ("Oh it all makes work for the working man to do......").

    Not only a waste of money, but gross neglect with it.

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  2. Since submitting the above post I have realised just what the cause of the problem is.

    Just as our railways suffer the wrong kind of snow, and the wrong kind of leaves, so Barkingside is being subjected to the wrong kind of rain. It's getting the wet variety.

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  3. I expect that, in Ilford, the Roding has been diverted along the footpath in Cranbook Road between Coventry Road and Balfour Approach as usual.

    I haven't been to check but I haven't seen any sign of any miracles being performed there in living memory ...

    These problems started when the bean counters realised it was much cheaper to resurface the road without removing the worn one, thus jacking up the height of the road. The kerb is then jacked up to match and the outer paving slaps relaid on a slope.

    Because the water can no longer run off into the road, shallow grooves, laughingly referred to as drains, are placed down the middle.

    These then quickly becomes full of litter and natural detritus and become totally useless - and that's before anybody digs a section up and tarmacs over it!

    When it rains, pedestrians avoid these areas so the only people to really suffer are usually local traders. As Redbridge doesn't collect the Business Rate from them, its bean counters see no point in wasting money on a solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the billing authority for the NNDR (national non-domestic rate) for businesses in Redbridge is Redbridge Council. The money collected is treated as an advance payment towards the revenue suppport grant due from central government to the local authority.

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  4. Actually the puddle problem is not new this year, it was already there last year. As I recall, this was within a year of the pavements being relaid.
    While I do not dispute Knowsie's comments about the roads, there was also poor quality workmanship. Just away from the High Street, on Tomswood Hill outside the wood yard and newsagent, the pavement was laid in a "V" - sloping down from the yard but also down from the road side. Unsurprisingly, this always gives a large puddle in the middle of the pavement every time it rains.
    Another gripe is that the paving slabs were laid on a bed of sand, not sand and cement. Within a very short time, this led to many areas sinking, especially around manhole covers, and another place for puddles to lay.

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    Replies
    1. The "V" shape is what I was describing in Ilford - and is deliberate!

      When the pavement is jacked up to match the road, the pavement can be relaid flat, in which case there is a danger of bridging the damp course* of the adjacent buildings, or sloped away from the road, so that surface water drains towards the buildings, either of which is obviously undesirable. Thus the "V" shape with (usually) ineffective central drainage.

      This is possibly what washes the sand bed away, letting the paving slabs sink and thus compounding the issue.

      * Bearing in mind the age of many buildings, particularly in Ilford, the damp course may be much lower than would expected in a modern building. Also, rain splashing up off the pavement can be a problem plus, of course, a lot of old brickwork is very porous.

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  5. And this is the reply from the FOI request to Redbridge Council:

    Please be advised unfortunately the relay of paving in this area was done about 16/18 years ago we are often prevented from achieving the desired gradients because we are limited by the floor levels of the existing shops and the kerb level at the carriageway edge. As a result the pavement is quite flat and rain water doesn’t drain away as quickly as we would like in some areas. It is not the result of poor workmanship by our (previous) Contractor as suggested. We are however looking at the area to see if we can carry out some localised improvement to try and ease the situation.

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    Replies
    1. Not to mention raising kerb levels (and consequently having the pavements slope towards the middle) when they resurface roads without removing the old surface.

      Done it, been there, got the T-shirt......

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    2. ... Completely ignoring the fact that, until the road level was jacked up by adding more and more layers of Tarmac, the kerb level was low enough to allow for a slope and a good run-off ...

      I took a look at the stretch of pavement I mentioned in Ilford the other day. The 'Vee' profile (and accompanying drain) have both gone and the pavement is now quite flat. I didn't see it under monsoon conditions, though ...

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    3. 16-18 years ago? This isn't freedom of information, this is MISINFORMATION. The pavements were replaced no more than five years ago at most. Where do we go from here?

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  6. Sounds like a possible cure for insomnia.

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    Replies
    1. I was recently reading a Council report on the Government's consultation on Business Rates. In it Redbridge was described as a "Dormitory Borough" - A place where people go .... to sleep!

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    2. So is that why the cabinet has visions?

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