MP says "there must be plans in place to deal with the aftermath" as bypass flooded again


The A34 Alderley Edge Bypass has been closed again because of flooding.

Following heavy rainfall over the weekend the A34 Melrose Way was closed in both directions from Sunday evening until mid-morning on Tuesday, 30th June.

However, just over 24 hours later the bypass has been closed again in both directions due to flooding.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said "Please allow extra travel time and plan your journey in advance. We're working to clear the network as soon as possible, thanks for your patience during this time."

Tatton MP Esther McVey said: "The last few days have seen unprecedented levels of rainfall and while it is a natural phenomenon and nothing can be done to stop the rainfall, there must be plans in place to deal with the aftermath and pump the water away as soon as possible. I have written to Cheshire East Council asking them to update me on what measures they have in place to deal with the rising water levels and how they plan to manage the situation both while the rain continues to fall and once it stops.

"Today I also raised the issue with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and briefed them on the situation in and around Wilmslow. I highlighted my concerns about flooding on the A555 (Stockport Council) Airport Road and the A34 Alderley Edge Bypass, both comparatively new roads and expressed my concerns how they were designed in such a way this should happen. I do know a number of other roads are also affected either because of the volume of top water, rivers bursting their banks or sink holes appearing and we also need to ensure plans are in place to get those roads back open as soon as possible.

"I would like to thank our excellent emergency services who have rescued people in the past days and are continuing to work around the clock to keep us safe."

Photo courtesy of Rupert Cornford, Story Publishing, taken on Monday, 29th July, on a bridge above the AE bypass near Sossmoss / Nursey Lane.

Alderley Edge Bypass


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Manuel Golding
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 4:36 pm
The AE A34 Alderley BP & the A555 are the latest additions to the Manchester region's canal network!
Julie Bhagat
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 5:13 pm
The extreme weather will just get worse
and worse due to global warming. And building more roads and homes hasn't helped as the water has less green space to drain into.

Surely instead of Boris and co going on about Brexit, they should be doing something about climate change and the environment.

I've had a week of struggling to get to work and back by train. At this rate I'll have to give up my job. The earth has already heated by 1 degree. What about when it's 2 or 3 degrees? It's scary to imagine.
David Pearce
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 5:18 pm
Seems some dental drill solution might be needed to solve some local rout canal flooding problems which are blighting our super new ( wrong sort of rain) airport relief road
John Chidgey
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 5:30 pm
It would be a very good idea to install webcams around the flood hotspots like the badly designed A34 and the even worsely designed A555 so you could see what the conditions were like minute by minute. The webcam at the Cat and Fiddle is very useful
David Smith
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 5:41 pm
I could go on for a long time but will just say that I do not believe that Cheshire East Highways - or whoever is responsible for 'designing' the road network around here - knows how to do a good job. There is so much wrong with the Alderley Edge bypass, the Wilmslow A34 new road and now the airport link road. Some people have earned a living doing a lousy job!
Robert Bracegirdle
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 6:27 pm
The levels of rainfall are NOT unprecedented. For a start they were predicted. The road is not designed to cope.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 10:15 pm
"Tatton MP Esther McVey said: "The last few days have seen unprecedented levels of rainfall and while it is a natural phenomenon and nothing can be done to stop the rainfall, there must be plans in place to deal with the aftermath and pump the water away as soon as possible. I have written to Cheshire East Council asking them to update me on what measures they have in place to deal with the rising water levels and how they plan to manage the situation both while the rain continues to fall and once it stops."

Check who knocked-back the UK flood prevention schemes designed by experts- your predecessor, George Gideon Oliver Osborne. Whatever happened to him?
John Harries
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 10:19 pm
David Smiths' appraisal just about hits the bulls eye. There were many complaints about the manner in which the A555 project was managed right from the get go and I suppose there is no point revisiting that, much less piling the blame on the lead contractor who were a national civil engineering disgrace. I think the whole thing came out costing north of £280M - that's approx. £32-35M/mile, way over budget and miles behind schedule and we got just an urban dual carriageway, not even a motorway.
I reckon the planners, Carillion and whoever were the architects all put their work experience people onto the job - and that brilliant afterthought, two bl...y great tanks in the ground to 'attenuate' flood water or spillage, really worked out well disn't it and was worth the 18 months extra road misery and god knows how much more dosh Joe in the street will have had to find.
If it wasn't so contemptuous it would be a joke and to make matters worse (and demonstrate that not much has changed), the way the emergency traffic management of the road closures etc. has been handled is an insult to the tax payer - even the temporary barriers on the A555 (at the A34 junction) were so 'not fit for purpose' they all fell over!! Next time there's similar project, award it to Barnhams, at least they know how to run a circus properly.
Oliver Romain
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 10:23 pm
It is impossible to attribute this bout of heavy rainfall with man-made climate change, however, it does fit with most known climate modelling.
The modelling indicates that there will be fewer rainy days in the summer, but that rainfall will become heavier on those days.
In India and Pakistan millions have been put in danger and had to leave their homes due to intense flooding.
As a society we must do all we can to minimise our contributions to global warming. We must act locally, nationally and internationally.
If we leave the EU we will be forced to cow tow to Donald Trump’s climate change denying administration and it will be a race to the bottom on workers and consumer rights and safety and animal welfare.
Esther McVey has recently stated that she is against ANY climate change targets. She is totally out of touch with public opinion and the reality of global warming already being faced by millions around the world and now starting to be felt right here, in Wilmslow.
We now have a hard right government committed to a disaster brexit in order to fulfil their own short term political ambitions.
Over 6m have signed a petition to end Brexit (11% of Tatton Population). These are people from all political persuasions.
Join us. If you or your family haven’t already signed it, do so now as time is running out. Remember your whole family can sign including under 18s of any age (including children) as long as they have an email address. (closes on 20th August).
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 11:18 pm
My road is Handforth is completely flooded by the River Dean. Despite previous very bad storms and floods in the region, this has never even been close to happening in the 19 years I have lived here. I wonder if this has anything to do with the amount of new building going on on greenfield sites in an acknowledged flood plain? And we haven’t even got the North Cheshire Growth village started yet!
David Smith
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 6:30 am
Here's a simple contributing factor to the flooding that sort of follows on from Lynne Prescott's comment.
All OUR housing developments - yes YOURS too - have drainage systems that take water from OUR roofs, down OUR drainpipes and into OUR drains. It all joins up further down and because of the free-flowing nature of 'drains' that are large, smooth pipes, the water rushes along and soon exits into the streams that become rivers, and when it is all too much for them the water goes where gravity dictates. If this happens to be down YOUR street and tragically YOUR front door it needs great thought and anticipation mixed with some brains and lots of money to stop this chain of events.
Without the recent urban sprawl around Wilmslow that we are told is the housing that we all need - perhaps for YOUR children and maybe for other UK citizens, but perhaps not - the rain would soak into the ground that is/was GREENBELT LAND and slowly find its way without visiting YOUR front door.
When we talk about new housing developments putting a strain on the INFRASTRUCTURE, we immediately think of roads, schools, doctors and shops etc. but seem not to be aware of drainage. Incidentally the more roads we build, which also have drains that feed into the same streams and rivers as the water coming off OUR roofs, the worse our flooding problems become. Please remember that I have often mentioned that I reported to MY councillor - DON STOCKTON - in 2011 that about 70 of the grids in the roads around where I live were blocked. Many are still the same today so what thought is being given to minimising flooding in the town where YOU live?
If I have got any facts wrong here then please advise. There might be links to Brexit, Trump and other culprits but if we were taken over by Martians tomorrow or all suddenly suffered a dose of common sense, the issue of heavy rain rushing as quickly as possible into the Irish Sea will still be the same.
Alison Rimmer
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 8:01 am
Luckily for some Handforth residents drains in our cul-de-sac were cleared recently. These drains blocked up causing minor flooding on most normal rainfall. Yesterday, the rain flowed down the pavement like a stream, gushing down the now cleared drains. These drains were only cleared after being reported to the council. Thus avoiding a major flooding problem.
Why are the drains not cleared on a regular basis ?
Simon Worthington
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 8:59 am
Thanks for the advice Ollie, and more biased nonsense. I will do a bit in my attempts to reduce energy use and rubbish but while China and Germany are building coal fired power stations and 15 countries are busy burning down rainforest and creating 15-25% of the CO2 produced my efforts will be utterely pointless!!

The whole bypass is an example of how not to go about a job and should be held up as a textbook case of incompetence and waste.
Brian Tickner
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 9:03 am
Well said, David. Drainage is the key.

Once upon a time when there were large County Councils like Lancashire CC, Yorkshire CC and Cheshire CC they employed a large number of first class civil and structural engineers who were capable of designing and supervising any kind of highway and bridge. For example: M6, M61, M62, M56, M58 etc. I believe that it is the politicians who have created small local authorities who don't have the economic strength to employ the necessary staff to create the relatively minor highways that have been built over the last 15/20 years.
Jon Williams
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 9:10 am
Bring back Cheshire County Council
james faulkner
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 9:14 am
If you dig a cut through a bog expect problems. The road was put in a cut to control the noise problems.
Laurie Atterbury
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 3:11 pm
Couldn’t organise a brew up in a public toilet!
Pippa Jones
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 6:57 pm
There does seem to be more unexpected and dramatic rainfall these days, which has been long predicted as part of the changes in our climate. We need to be thinking now not just about climate change and reducing our CO2 emissions but also climate change mitigation; thinking ahead so we can ameliorate the changes that are likely to come in the future. Drainage, as has been emphasised in many of the posts here, is clearly key. If we are going to have more floods, we need to manage drainage better, which means regular clearing of drains (many of the drains in Wilmslow are completely blocked) but also thinking about how development in our towns and villages (and on greenbelt) impacts on water flow and drainage. If we simply concrete over our front gardens and our fields, there is no where for the water to go; unless we insist on sustainable drainage surfaces for pavements and driveways, the water just floods the drainage system; and every tree that gets cut down for roads or housing development is one less tree to absorb water. We all have a part to play but the local authority and government have the authority to insist on planning regulations that work to support climate change amelioration, and regular clearing of drains would make a difference. It is good to hear that Ms McVey is concerned about the flooding here, and as Secretary of State for Housing and Communities she is very well placed to ensure that developers and planners take climate amelioration and flooding into account. People often talk about the additional costs of high environmental standards in housing and road developments...but just imagine the costs of dealing with what is happening today, in Cheshire and Derbyshire.....huge human costs as well as money. It's time that we started planning for flooding and trying to prevent it, rather than wringing our hands every time it happens and doing nothing. Grateful thanks to Local Authority staff, the emergency services and so many voluntary organisations and volunteers doing so much to keep people safe tonight.
John Harries
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 7:40 pm
James Faulkner, that isn't really correct.
Don't forget that what is now the A555 and the intersections with the Handforth (A34/Wilmslow Road B5358) and Bramhall (Woodford Road A5102) sections were constructed well over 20 years ago, the future/eventual overall design concept predetermined with the fundamental bridging of those existing roads being thus fixed. True, noise attenuation was an important factor but the eventual new dual carriageway levels and clearances were fixed by the 30 year old bridgework design; the alternative would have been elevated flyovers at these point which would prove (much) more costly, require more land, be disruptive during construction and not practical without significant demolition of many existing properties - result a pragmatic compromise which has (in hindsight) been very poorly designed/executed.
Randal MacRandal
Friday 2nd August 2019 at 2:00 pm
Wow. Rarely have I seen such a reaction to an act of God. It's a good job we don't have forest fires, or volcanoes, or tsunamis. Then we'd really have something to whinge about.
The rain at times was so heavy my down spouts could not cope with the volume of water running off the roof into the gutters so I had waterfalls all round the house. A bit like the dam near Whaley Bridge. But then we have Victorian engineers to blame for that, don't we ?

I agree with everything expressed about global warming but we can't surely expect that compensation for the exceptional is built into every civil engineering project. Such that we'd have Calfornia-style storm drains in Cheshire because we had some biblical weather this week. Send for Noah !
David Smith
Saturday 3rd August 2019 at 8:09 am
Yes Randal - you make a fine observation. We've had fires in the hills not far away, now the floods, With more fracking we could have bigger earthquakes. With the next 'freak' hot wind from Africa could come a swarm of locusts and who knows when a plague of frogs might make an appearance? Acts of God? Well there is a case for that I suppose - I mean he must be really angry that we had a democratic, majority vote for Brexit but don’t seem able to honour that. Perhaps nature will ‘calm down’ on the 1st of November when we finally leave the EU?
Christian Hurstfield
Wednesday 7th August 2019 at 4:12 pm
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 7th August 2019 at 5:17 pm
I’d listen more if you didn’t invoke Brexit. What nonsense.
Sheila Grindrod
Wednesday 7th August 2019 at 7:09 pm
The above comments in the main are the same as mine except for talking about Brexit. I voted leave and wish that we got on with it. But this conversation is about flooding etc. I have heard that some of the drainage on these housing developments are being run into rivers etc. What does this tell you. It says cutting corners, not following the rules and regs. Just imagine all these developments being built using these practices we will have much greater difficulties than we've had over the last few weeks. Also where are all the affordable houses!!!!!!
Laurie Atterbury
Sunday 11th August 2019 at 10:05 am
Just waiting for an up market dealership in amphibious vehicles to open and then we really will have made it!