Camden Council’s West End Project was supposed to improve the Tottenham Court Road area for pedestrians and cyclists. But blocked drains, poorly laid paving and road surfaces in places are causing flooding, even after relatively light rain.
It is causing a problem for those using active travel and for some local businesses.
Pedestrians are repeatedly having to dodge a huge pool of standing water which is a couple of inches, or more, deep after every rainfall on the pavement at the junction of Maple Street.
The puddle is so big that it extends over the forecourt of The Court public house. A barman said it is affecting their business as customers cannot use the outside seating area.
“We brush it way, but it comes back every time it rains,” he said.
Further up the road on the corner of Grafton Way, pedestrians are getting splashed by passing drivers due to standing water on the carriageway.
At Bayley Street pedestrians and cyclists have to avoid standing water.
Several other locations on the shopping street have rainwater ponding either on the pavement, in the cycle lanes, or on the carriage way, after rainfall.
With more heavy rainfall from extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis, Tottenham Court Road’s new surface is not likely to perform very well unless drains are unblocked and paving and tarmac is re-laid so that water runs off.
Fitzrovia News asked Camden if it considered the paving and carriageway work has been done to an acceptable standard.
A Camden Council spokesperson responded to say: “All roads and surfaces in this area were designed to manage water effectively, however we are monitoring this area and working to deal with any reoccurring issues with drainage with our contractors.
“As it’s common for gullies to become blocked in winter and after heavy rain, teams also regularly clear all drains and gullies to avoid a build-up of water. We ask residents to report blocked or flooded drains to us so we can look into this as soon as possible.”
The council says the public can report blocked or flooded drains via its website.
At Bayley Street where water is standing in the cycle lane a new pocket park is due to be created and work on the levels here will be done when the park is constructed.
Camden had previously carried out some remedial work where the carriageway was flooding and pedestrians were getting splashed by passing drivers.
Additional reporting by Linus Rees.