Essex County Highways start work on Watery Lane

Watery Lane is at last receiving the attention from Essex Highways that has been noticeably lacking in the last few months and in our opinion years.  Cllr Michael Hoy was there today and spoke with an officer from Essex County Council.

Watery Lane looking East
Watery Lane looking East

As mentioned in the previous post two 4,000 tankers turned up on Wednesday evening after a meeting involving County Highways, Hullbridge Cllrs Michael & Diane Hoy, Rochford’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and also their Chief Engineer.  The tankers managed to pump away 20,000 gallons that night.

On Thursday those tankers returned together with two further tankers, paid for by Roy Hart, a local businessman, and they proceeded to pump the water out of the Lane.  Mr Hart’s tankers emptied their water into the ditches further up towards Battlesbridge hence the flow of water people had seen.  The tankers from Essex emptied their water at the sewage works.

By the end of the day the Lane was essentially dry and road sweepers were sent in.  However, as predicted, water was still coming into the Lane from the fields and the water has now built up again and the road surface is still covered with silt and gravel.

Watery Lane today, still flooded
Watery Lane today, still flooded

A small digger has been on site today clearing some of the ditches and a larger digger has been organised and will be arriving on site next week to continue clearing the ditches at a faster rate.  Once the ditches have been cleared it will allow work on the actual road drains to begin.  When Essex County Council have started on these it will be known if silt is the only issue or whether there are structural problems, such as the reported collapsed drain, that are contributing to the problem.

Watery Lane.  Mini digger clearing a roadside ditch
Watery Lane. Mini digger clearing a roadside ditch

We will keep everyone updated but for the next week Watery Lane will be officially closed with people working on the carriageway and large machinery blocking the road.  Also there is water on the carriageway, and although not as deep as recently, this could cause problems to cars if it gets into the air intake.

As a matter of historic interest Watery Lane used to be narrow than it is now, originally it was the watercourse for the stream running next to it, and a culvert ran along its Southern side (the left side going away from Hullbridge) and this drained the water.  However after a number of accidents the culvert was piped and the road surface extended over the top, with drains inserted, to make the road wider.

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5 thoughts on “Essex County Highways start work on Watery Lane

  1. Thank you for your update Michael, you are certainly getting things moving.
    Of course, everyone knows you do NOT replace Tarmac without checking the condition of the drainage below just in case it has to be dug up again. ECC need to get their act together, as this is exactly what they have done.
    Sorry to keep pointing the finger but I am very unhappy about the misery this has caused thousands of people every day for months whilst nothing was done.

  2. Michael, Some of the ditches around there have a protected water vole population. Do you know if everyone is aware of that ? I was told by the Environment Agency that the fines are very heavy on destruction of a protected species habitat such as the Water Vole which is why they had to leave some of the ditches alone.

  3. Gary

    My understanding was the Water Vole population was i the watercourse that the Environment Agency cleared a couple of years ago. However I will check to confirm where they were living and make sure Essex County Council are aware of this.

  4. It could not have been in the area cleared by EA as they are not allowed to touch it. The EA would not identify where they were but the only area they did not touch was by the first bridge by the old pumping station to Pickerills, so my assumption was they were there. Thanks for taking this up.

  5. Watery lane needs some serious money spending to upgrade the whole lane. It floods when ever it rains will ECC spend any money i wonder. This road has been there for the past three hundred years plus. The bridges are to weak. Yet we still see lorries 10 tons plus using the road. no wonder the drains colapse and water and silt that runs off the fields blocks the lane for weeks on end costing thousands of pounds to clear.

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