Council calls on Thames Water to take urgent action after flooding in Raynes Park

The Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Mark Allison, has written to Thames Water asking them to take urgent action after the centre of Raynes Park was left underwater after flash flooding.

Following a downpour on Monday evening, Coombe Lane, Worple Road, Abbott Avenue and the railway underbridges at Approach Road and Lower Downs were inaccessible and were closed by the police. Flood water wrecked homes and business premises.

In his letter to Thames Water, Councillor Allison wrote: “I’m requesting Thames Water’s urgent response to tackling the severe flooding that continues to cause serious disruption and damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in Merton. On Monday, water entered a large number of premises causing significant damages to homes and businesses trying to recover from the pandemic.

“The occurrences of flooding in Raynes Park have happened every summer for the past five years and now significant investment is required from Thames Water to upgrade assets which are not maintained regularly and are not fit for purpose.

“The Thames Water pumping station at Abbot Avenue has failed every year for the past five years and has resulted in sewage spills and manhole surcharging foul water across the entire road.

“It is now critical that Thames Water sets out how it intends to alleviate these issues before residents suffer any further disruption.”

In his letter, Councillor Allison set out the action the council has taken, including detailed flood investigations, which included CCTV of the network of Thames Water’s sewers. This led to 21 tonnes of silt being removed in Coombe Lane near the railway station.

Councillor Allison also raised concerns that residents and businesses were left waiting more than an hour to report the flooding to Thames Water’s contact centre.

He wrote: “We understand that future asset investment is informed by number of reports of flooding to you. However, your sewer flooding questionnaire is inaccessible due to the requirement to print and scan or post a paper PDF form – not the easiest thing to do when your home is flooded.”

Note to editors: The full letter can be read here.