Residents feeling drained as roads blocked again by flooding

Flooding on Kenley Lane 17Oct2019This, left, was the scene on Kenley Lane last night.

For residents in that part of the borough, it is an all too familiar a scene whenever there is a heavier-than-usual rainfall.

It is not as if Croydon Council and Transport for London – who have ultimate responsibility for the major roads in the capital – are not aware that there’s a problem.

Shortly after this photograph was taken by an Inside Croydon reader, the police closed off the road, and TfL was forced to put the 434 bus on diversion.

“When is action going to be taken to stop Kenley Lane flooding every time it rains?” the reader asked.

“It’s a shambles, has been for years.”

And for all the hundreds of thousands of pounds which Croydon Council rakes in each year from road users in fines and the fees from residents’ parking permits – money which is supposed to be ring-fenced for use on highways maintenance and nothing else – there’s little sign of that money being used, effectively, on the borough’s roads.

With roadside drains allowed to become this blocked by the council’s lack of maintenance, is it any wonder there is flooding when it rains?

“It’s the same every year,” said another reader, whose home is regularly affected by localised flooding.

“It’s as if the council is completely surprised that leaves fall off trees in the autumn.

“But it’s a year-round problem now. There’s never any sign of proper gulley-cleaning or maintenance work being conducted, and every time it rains, the road floods.”

It is not just an issue in the leafier suburbs. Even in the centre of town, it appears that cutbacks in maintenance budgets mean that, basically, little or no upkeep work is ever done.

Another road, another blocked drain. ‘Every year, it is as if the council is surprised that leaves fall from trees in the autumn’

One lane of the slip road off the Croydon Flyover is under several inches of water every time there is even modest rainfall.

Vehicles, including double-decker buses, often travelling at considerable speed – this is not one of the council’s unenforced 20mph zones – are often seen to swerve to avoid the hazard presented by the flooded lane. Although ward councillor Chris Clark was taken to the site, close to the roundabout at the southern end of Roman Way, many months ago, nothing has ever been done to clear the blocked drainage.

And across the borough, when there is a “rainy season”, such as has been experienced over the past few weeks, with unusually heavy rainfall, the roadside drains that have been left uncleared for months quickly see water flowing over low kerbs and across the roads.

Anecdotally, it seems that the situation has become worse since the council’s much-trumpeted new contract with Veolia, which allowed the rubbish contractors to lay off most of their roadsweeping staff.

In Purley, water floods across the roads and makes pavements impassable

Instead of a platoon of roadsweepers wielding their very own “Trigger’s broom”, now Veolia rely on a small fleet of kerb-sweeping carts which, clearly, do not do a very good job of actually clearing away leaves and other debris from the kerbs.

“Once again Purley was under water and some of our roads flooded,” another reader says.

“Although the council has been informed on numerous occasions about blocked gulleys, nothing is ever done.”

This reader relates encountering problems regularly along Plough Lane, Foxley Lane and Warren Road. “Surely this is an example of neglect and poor management? Have a look yourselves.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Chris Clark, Croydon Council, Environment, Kenley, Purley, TfL, Veolia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Residents feeling drained as roads blocked again by flooding

  1. Daniel Kelly says:

    There’s still flooding under the bridge at Riddlesdown Station which has been happening since the 1990s.
    Street sweeping is a joke as most of the roads here are only half swept due to commuter car parking.

    There is broken glass outside 17 Mitchley Avenue that’s been there for a couple of years and was reported several weeks ago.

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