Concerns elderly people were forced to 'walk through sewage' to get to Surrey village

The village manager described flooding an 'ongoing problem' for the area. Credit: Hannah Nicholson/LDR Wires

Concerns have been raised that elderly people living in a Surrey village were forced to walk through sewage to get to the centre.

Elmbridge Road in Cranleigh has been subject to flooding since early November, and it's believed there may have been sewage leaking, along with the flooding, with one resident describing seeing "frothy yuckiness" in the water.

County Councillor Liz Townsend (Liberal Democrat, Cranleigh & Ewhurst) said she had been raising the issue with the authority since it had started, and thought the flooding was probably a result of heavy rain and the sewage system being "overwhelmed".

She said she was concerned about residents from a nearby retirement community, Elmbridge Village, who use the road to get to and from Cranleigh.

The local councillor believed the flooding was a result of heavy rain and the sewage system being "overwhelmed". Credit: Hannah Nicholson/LDR Wires

As the only walking route into the village, she said the elderly residents were having to go through the flood, and possible sewage, to get there or just couldn't get there at all.

Cllr Townsend added: "Obviously nobody wants to be walking through water that has got an element of sewage in it.

"It's not safe, it's not nice."

She added that it was "frustrating" as a councillor to see such issues take a long time to get resolved, especially on one of the main roads into Cranleigh.

Cllr Townsend said the water looked as if it had been cleared by Tuesday (January 17) with a county council spokesperson saying work had been done to clear the gullies.

They added that nearby waterways and woodland were all flooded, and the road gullies drained into both.

Hannah Nicholson is a Cranleigh resident who uses the road several times a day to visit her mother. She said the road doesn't usually flood, and she thought the water seemed to be coming from a nearby road.

Residents reported being unable to walk to the shops or walk their dogs. Credit: Martin Bamford/LDR Wires

Also concerned about the residents at Elmbridge Village, she said: "They do that walk because they walk to the shops, they walk up the road, walk their dogs. They can't walk through that."

Kelvin Glen, village manager at Elmbridge Village, said on Friday (January 13): "We are aware of the situation with flooding on the main road outside of our property and are in constant communication with the council and Thames Water to ensure that safety of our residents is paramount, if the situation were to escalate.

"Highway maintenance has also been on site for the past three days to protect the neighbouring roads."

He said his team had notified all staff and residents, and advised people not to walk or cycle through the affected area but to go by car if they needed to go into Cranleigh.

Mr Glen added: "The area flooded is an ongoing problem for the county, which is why we are being kept informed and notified of any developments."

Surrey County Council said any sewage queries would need to be directed to Thames Water.

A Thames Water spokesperson said: "On this situation, our engineers attended the site on 13 January after we were contacted by the local authority about an overflowing manhole near the junction of Essex Drive and Elmbridge Road.

"Our engineers confirmed this was a private issue with the local highway authority and the overflowing manhole was due to surface water pipes and surrounding ditches being overloaded with water."