Find solution to flooding that’s afflicted us for far too long

The sewage and flooding problem has resurfaced again outside the Red Lion. Pic: Alan Watson
The sewage and flooding problem has resurfaced again outside the Red Lion. Pic: Alan Watson

The Oates family have run the Red Lion pub in New Stevenston for 27 years and say flooding has affected their business since the start.

Time and again they have watched utility workers carry out repairs in the street outside, but despite their efforts, which have included major excavations, the problem always seems to re-surface literally.

Villagers have had to dodge human waste pumped on to the street and cover their nose from the stench.

Now there are fears that a huge puddle of water that refuses to go away could cause a road accident as drivers swerve to avoid it.

Scottish Water claimed it was unaware of any recent problems until contacted by the Times & Speaker, but Tony Oates said the company has been told repeatedly about flooding over the last two weeks.

He claimed water workers arrived with a machine but couldn’t clear the puddle and simply stuck up signs to warn of flooding.

His mum, Agnes, said: “The bar has flooded in the past and it could happen again judging by the size of the puddle in Clydesdale Street.

“We’ve been in the pub for 27 years and the problem was here then. Despite all the work that’s been done nobody’s been able to solve it.”

Butcher Paul Morrison warned there could be a crash if a driver moves out to the wrong side of the road to avoid the water.

He added: “I am losing business because customers aren’t walking round the corner where the puddle is.

“You would have thought in 2017 something like this would be simple to remedy, but apparently not.”

The Times & Speaker has highlighted the issue before. In 2010 we told how untreated sewage was running down the pavement past shops and the spot where a lollipop lady was taking children across the road.

Excavation and repair work was carried out then, but three years ago Danny Oates, Tony’s brother, said the problem was as bad as ever. He described it as “like something you see in a Third World country”.

Now Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Richard Lyle, who lives in New Stevenston, has waded into the debate and demanded a meeting on site with Scottish Water.

Mr Lyle said: “I’ve taken photos of what can only be described as a pond at New Stevenston Cross.

“People are getting soaked and businesses say they are losing trade.

“It’s a serious issue. The flooding has happened far too often. The problem was supposed to have been fixed and I don’t understand why it hasn’t been.

“That’s why I’m arranging a meeting with Scottish Water and pressing them to find a solution.”

Back in 2014 Scottish Water said work to replace sections of sewer pipes in Jerviston Street and Clydesdale Street “should help to alleviate flooding”.

This week a company spokesman said: “We carried out repairs to a partial collapse and cracks and fractures in the sewer network in 2014.

“We have not been informed of any other issues since then. If a flooding issue is raised with us by property owners in the area we will investigate the matter.”