Businesses losing trade demand action as Stoke-on-Trent road turns into 'canal'

The floodwaters, exceeding three feet in certain areas, have forced motorists to abandon their vehicles Credit: BPM

Businesses along a flooded road in Stoke-on-Trent say they are losing customers, with some likening the situation to navigating a canal rather than a road.

Among the affected on Chemical Lane, in Longport, is the waste management company Belford Bros, which says it has experienced substantial trade losses.The floodwaters, exceeding three feet in certain areas, have forced motorists to abandon their vehicles because of the deluge.

The water has risen more than three feet in some parts Credit: BPM

Business owner Sam Belford said: “This flooding is horrendous and it has been an ongoing issue for years. Luckily, I work from the head office in Ball Green but the reclamation yard is run from exactly where the flooding is.“It’s right outside the yard so people are not coming because it’s so badly flooded so we’re losing business. My phone has been like a hot cake with people asking if they can come in, but the water is so deep that it’s a risk to their cars.“We’ve had people trying to drive through the flood and their car has cut out so they’ve had to get out and push - and the water comes up to their knees.

"There was a bloke whose engine blew up driving through it but luckily it was near Moores Metals so they had to take it there.

Credit: BPM

“I run 18-tonne lorries and I have a 10-tonne lorry that can just about manage to drive through it because otherwise it would be bringing my business to an absolute halt.

"The flooding goes above the wheels on the 18-tonne lorries.“My son, Matt Belford, is the manager of the yard and had to pick up staff members in his 4x4 and tell them to park up the road so their cars don’t get damaged.

"Staffordshire County Council is saying it’s not an emergency - how does that not warrant an emergency?“It only takes a drizzle of rain and the water pours out. I can’t understand where it even comes from. Network Rail and Severn Trent don’t want to know about it because a drainage pipe has collapsed underneath the railway and it’ll be a massive job to sort it that will lose them money.”

Network Rail is checking its land following this week's issues.A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are aware of the flooding issues on Chemical Lane and we’ve been working with the local authority to identify the issue.

"We have checked the drainage under the railway and there are no issues. However the local stream owned by a third party is blocked and can back up onto the road.

"We will continue to work with the council to see how we can help clear the road for local residents and businesses as soon as possible.”Staffordshire County Council - which is responsible for the road - is blaming the issue on a 'temporary pump system'.

Councillor David Williams, cabinet member for highways, said: “Our highways crews have been made aware of an issue with the temporary pump system used to pump excess water away from the road.

"An engineer has been sent to the area to help identify and resolve the matter. Our highways teams continue to work on the design of a more permanent scheme which will help prevent the road from flooding during times of heavy rain.”

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