Liden residents get digging to keep back the floodwaters
TRENCHES have been dug by a footpath alongside Liden Drive as floodwaters consumed the area during recent downpours.
The path, which was resurfaced at the beginning of December following a petition from residents who were concerned about surface water on the main pedestrian route to Great Western Hospital, will now have additional work done after a nearby house came close to flooding.
A campaign lasting several months drew 300 signatures to resurface the 170-yard stretch of path, which was often inaccessible.
But last week floodwaters prompted five residents to pick up their shovels and dig a trench to divert the water away from a house, which appeared to be under threat.
Jas Grewal, 62, who started the petition, got out his spade to help the effort.
“The sheer amount of rain we had meant the whole thing got flooded so we had to get out there and do it quickly,” he said. “The water was filling up fast so we had to do something.
“The council came around and rectified the problem as soon as they could, and will be coming back again next week to do some more work.
“They have put barriers up around the trench to protect it, and placed boards down so people do not stumble and can walk more easily. It is not too much of a problem at the moment, because a lot of people have gone on holiday now and will not be back until the new year.”
John McLay, 74, of Sedgebrook, said: “The water looks as though it is running down the slope and can’t be diverted into the drainage system.
“One man who lives down the road had a problem with water coming into his garden.
“Five of them went in there with their spades to divert the water, because it was just about to sneak into his house.
“Since then the council has been back to dig a new trench in another position to let water run off, and put barriers across.
“The concern is that we have enough trouble with ice on the roads in the area, and this water is running into the road.
“The water is now being diverted onto Liden Drive, and could create an ice rink.
“A lot of cars go a little too fast down that road, and one driver could have a nasty surprise if it continues.
“One side now is like a quagmire, and people still have to walk on the road to avoid it.”
A Swindon Council spokesperson said: “We are doing what we can to stop the path from being flooded and will hopefully be able to come up with a permanent solution in the New Year.
“In the meantime we have done some temporary work to reduce the problem, which has included installing a land drain to channel floodwater away from the path. We have also put in sandbags to protect a garden.”
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