Splashing out

On February 5th 2012, I posted about the awful state of drainage on the High Street/Chester Road near Knaves Court in Brownhills. It only takes a small amount of rain for huge pools of standing water to develop just by the pedestrian crossing. These pools are large, can stretch right across the road and are very deep at the gutters. Passing traffic splashes water continuously over the entrance canopy and doorway to the old folk’s home, and drenches passing pedestrians. This really is unacceptable.

I was spontaneously contacted after posting my last article about this ongoing issue by Walsall Council Officer Steve Sharma, who had this to say:

ENQUIRY from Bob – Brownhillsbob blog – logged on 06/02/12 13:50 – deadline – 06/02/12 00:00

The problem is that it only takes a small amount of rainfall for large pools of standing water to gather in the gutters at either side of the High Street, just by the pedestrian crossing in front of Knaves Court. I’d like to ask Walsall Council when they intend to do something about this.


We will look into the problem and get the gullies cleaned.

Glyn Oliver, Services Manager

For further information please contact: Steve Sharma on 01922 653573

sharmasteve at walsall.gov


Over ten weeks later, and the problem persists. It has been going on for years. Is anyone, anywhere, going to take ownership of this mess and sort it out? I’ve noted the problems before with drain clearance in Walsall, and lay the blame squarely with Tarmac, the contractors who are responsible for roads maintenance in Walsall. I’m sure the jobs are getting passed on, but they just will not seem to carry them out. Tonight, after a moderate shower, the A461 at Sandhills had a river in the northbound gutter.

If by a remote chance any Brownhills Councillor is reading this, please take up the issue – it’s a menace to pedestrians, and causes vehicles to swerve into the road.This could buy you some brownie points before the election. Is this really the image of Walsall’s roads we want to be conveying?

The staff and residents of Knaves Court must be thoroughly fed up with this.

Come on in, the water's lovely. Rumours that lost Vietnamese Boat People were found here last month have proven unfounded.

Make a run for it - I dare you.

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14 Responses to Splashing out

  1. warren parry says:

    Bob, thanks for bringing this subject up again.
    it is a complete joke that what effectively is the south east gateway into Brownhills, is a mixture of new buildings and decrepit roads! Brownhills actually looks like it is a thriving growing town if you enter from that end. That is unless it has rained!!
    The wash from the puddles actually goes up the facade of the pensioners block, leaving a tide mark. i would be amazed if the developers of the block had not flagged this up a long time ago. Like the rest of Brownhills it was probably ignored!

  2. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    this is an ongoing failure to monitor and supervise. The company have an unsatisfatory reputation not only here but with their risible pot-hole filling attempts in a nearby road. It took them three attempts to do a proper job there. Will all of this be remembered when it is time for contracts to be renewed?
    Thanks for bringing this matter to public attention, Bob

  3. Exile says:

    Similar conditions have existed on both the A461 in Sandhills and the Chester Road at the Shire Oak Junction for some 4 years – before Tarmac had full responsibility. At that time the gullies and drains on the Chester Road were being blocked by sand from both the quarry and run off from the Nature Reserve. The Council’s solution? Tarmac over the drains as they were too near the juntion to clear regularly! I hope you have more luck with the Brownhills Councillors than we did with the Walsall Wood lot!

  4. R Nuttall says:

    Bob, It’s not just Brownhills. I travel the whole of the Midlands regularly and Walsall’s roads are the very worst of all. I did not know that the repair work was contracted out. Walsall is also very good at reducing speed limits everywhere. I thought that that was to reduce accidents and injuries due to speed. It seems more like these speed reductions are to reduce compensation claims for vehicle damage due to potholes, grates, gutters and general uneveness. Anybody driven along Wood Lane recently from the Chester Rd end ?

  5. Steve Sharma says:

    We arranged for a survey of the gullies and the report came back showing a blockage in the public sewer at a point where steel bollards had been erected at the back of the footway and fronting the new develpoment. We have spoken with Cllr Alan Paul and informed him the problem is between STWA and the developer. Thankyou

    • So, although the water has been gathering for years, on a road Walsall MBC is responsible for, we can’t get it sorted… Because? Disgusting, and a total cop-out.
      Also deeply unimpressed that I had to bring this issue up yet again, and that nobody could be bothered to reply with this to the original complaint.
      Walsall, where nothing’s ever anyone’s responsibility.


  6. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    and the river down the A461 Sandhills? Bollards..yes and many of them,…and a few ducks and drakes , too

  7. Glyn Oliver says:

    We have been conscious of the problems with the gullies in this location and have regularly attended to clean them out. Each occasion the ponding has taken longer and longer to release which suggested a problem further along the line. We carried out a survey and discovered that the developer had placed a bollard through the public sewer. The majority of gullies drain to a public sewer. Public sewers for over 20 years now are the responsibility of the water company in this area it is STW. Walsall Council cannot a repair on a third party property for a number of reasons not least being ultra vires. This is the legal position and Walsall operates within the law. The problem has been reported to STW and will be monitored to ensure they repair the problem.

    • Hi Glyn.

      Thanks for you response.

      Monitored? The people of Brownhills have been complaining about this for years. Whatever ‘monitoring’ means, it doesn’t seem to result in problem solving.

      The people of the town – and one of it’s newest developments – will continue to be drenched in muddy, foul water because the authorities seem unable to get it together and fix the problem.

      So tell me: when the water actually destroys the road surface due to hydraulic action, who pays then?

      Getting any road drain sorted seems to be damn near impossible – gullies at Shire Oak and the new ring road still blocked.


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  9. Cyndi Jones says:

    Some work was done at the end week of April 27th. Done by Severn Trent. They opened a hole in the street, then closed it back up, but left the temporary signal lights up on Friday. It is now Sunday April 29th and the flooding is worse then ever, completely covering the road in front of Knaves Court and the Mansfield construction site. It is now a lake. I don’t think this is completely to do with overflowing gullies anymore. The street on both sides has had a “sink hole” ever since I moved here (3 yrs) and is made worse by the heavy lorries allowed to go through the high street. Its a shame that the Walsall Council, the water company and the construction company who laid down the road are now playing the blame game and no one is going to take full responsibility for the problem. The Council has instituted this new “STREET PRIDE” yet, Brownhills is the one town they seem to neglect, EXCEPT for when a new foot path is “needed” in front of the Hussey Arms pub. Both round abouts in Brownhills are flooding (at the Miner and the Rising Sun) making it very dangerous since the latter is coming off an A road. I wonder where exactly out councils priorities are?

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