A regularly flooded underpass needs fixing and fast, according to a new Northampton councillor, who says standing water is blocking children’s path to school.
Councillor Clement Chunga (Lab, Brookside) is calling on both the borough and county councils to remedy a persistent flooding problem at the Tonmead Walk underpass.
The path, which travels under the busy A43 Lumbertubs Way, is regularly covered in water in times of heavy rain, because he believes the drainage system is not fit to cope with the amount of surface water that flows down into the tunnelled area.
This flooding forces people to walk to a crossing at Weston Favell Shopping Centre, Councillor Chunga says, to get to the other side safely.
He added: “This is a long-running saga and both the county council and borough council have refused to take ownership of the issue.
“Local residents, particularly those walking to Arbours Primary Academy School, use Tonmead Walk underpass to get from one side of the A43 Lumbertubs Way to the other.
“Everybody agrees this dual carriageway is impossible to cross safely and that is why the underpass is so important.”
Councillor Chunga said when Tonmead Walk underpass is flooded residents have no choice but to walk a much longer distance down to Weston Favell Shopping Centre in order to get to the other side of the A43 safely.
However, he added that this is ‘deeply inconvenient’ for those trying to get their young children to school for an 8.30am start.
Residents have also complained that the standing water gives off a bad smell when the underpass floods.
But a stumbling block has been hit in trying to solve the issue, Councillor Chunga believes, because Northamptonshire County Council owns the pathway that runs under the A43, while the borough council owns the grass verges alongside it and Anglian Water owns the drainage system.
Neither has accepted responsibility for the issue so far.
With the problem now running for more than three years, Councillor Chunga said: “It is about time we got three parties round the table to sort something out between them, this is having a real effect on people’s lives.”
Anglian Water, Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council are looking into the issue and are set to comment in due course.