A COUNCIL’S flagship scheme to stop flooding on a road into a key industrial estate “did not fail” earlier this year when the road became flooded for 15 days in one month, it has been claimed.

Before approving jointly funding with North Yorkshire County Council up to £300,000 for “remedial works to the Dalton Bridge and highway flood alleviation scheme”, several members of Hambleton District Council’s cabinet emphasised that the initiative had been a success.

The £4.1m partnership project between the district council, businesses on the estate, the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, the county council, and the Environment Agency was undertaken to end decades of uncertainty over access to the estate due to repeated flooding.

When the scheme was completed in June 2018, Cleveland Steel and Tubes managing director, Roy Fishwick, said when the Cod Beck flooded or there were concerns for the structure of the hump-back bridge, delivery drivers faced an 18-mile diversion and had to negotiate a farm track to access the site.

A report to the district authority’s cabinet stated “despite the scheme Dalton Lane flooded on three occasions in February; from 9 to 13 February, from 16 to 19 February and from 23 to 27 February” – a period when there were several exceptional storms.

The report stated flooding from sources such as surface water, groundwater and sewers had not been “thought to be a significant risk and the new highway drainage was not designed to cope with additional drainage inputs”.

It added a CCTV survey had revealed “various defects with the new highway drainage pipes due to poor workmanship”, such as unsealed connections, open joints and sections of crushed pipe, enabling groundwater to enter the highway drainage system.

The report said in addition, the drainage system had “a choke point and water is likely to flood from the manhole when the system is surcharged and this was observed during the flood event”.

The cabinet meeting was told, in addition, floodwater had potentially been pushed underneath the road and through the embankments by water pressure from areas beyond.

The authority’s leader, Councillor Mark Robson said the remedial work was important as 900 people were employed on the industrial estate and that figure could double in the coming years.

He said: “The bridge and the scheme didn’t fail. Very clear about that. The issue is to the west side of this. There’s a bit of a dip in the road that needs to be resolved through this scheme proposed today.

“It is unfortunate that we had the probably more than one-in-a-hundred year’s flood, but we are where we are and this is a scheme that needs to be done. I hope this moves on and is delivered before the bad weather in the autumn again.”

The council’s leisure portfolio holder, Councillor Bridget Fortune, said: “I am really grateful that this has been completed. It has been a success. No doubt about it.

“The people who are keen on knocking anything should try and do it themselves. This is absolutely fabulous.”

Governance cabinet member Councillor Isabel Sanderson added: “It would be slightly unusual perhaps if when you are dealing with water at this kind of quantities that there wasn’t a little hiccup along the line.

“So we just deal with it, move on and continue with the success.”

After the meeting, Barrie Mason, the county council’s assistant director of highways, said it intended to employ another contractor to carry out the remedial scheme at Dalton Bridge and the workmanship issues that have been identified would all be rectified at the original contractor’s cost.

He added: “The workmanship issues impacted on the performance of the new drainage system, but they did not account for the flooding that was experienced, which will be addressed by the remedial scheme.”