Alderley Road and Airport Relief Road closed again due to heavy rain

The A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road has been closed again today as a safety precaution following heavy rainfall due to Storm Christoph.

The Manchester Airport Relief Road has been closed in both directions between Bramhall Oil Terminal and Styal Road.

A spokesperson for Stockport Council said "Heavy rainfall is expected throughout today, and as a result, we are preparing for this and are continuing to monitor the situation very closely.

"The A555 is now closed in both directions as a safety precaution. The tanks that capture run off water are now full and we expect there to soon be flooding on the road, making the route unsafe.

"We will continue to review the situation and we would like to ask residents to please avoid the area and use alternative routes."

The £290m A555 Manchester Airport Relief Road, which opened in October 2018 has been closed on several occasions due to flooding.

Alderley Road in Wilmslow is also currently closed from the Kings Arms due to flooding.

The Carrs Park is also flooded at the Styal Road/Twinnies Bridge entrance.

The Met Office has issued an Amber National Severe Weather Warning for parts of northern, central and eastern England which is valid through to midday on Thursday.

Photo: Alderley Road.

Taken at 11.14 am today (Wednesday, 20th January) at the bottom of path which leads from Wilmslow Rugby Club which leads into the Twinnies car park.

The Carrs, where the River Bollin is flowing very fast, taken from the metal railing bridge.



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

David Smith
Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 3:10 pm
All these roads are flooding NOT because of heavy rain or Storm Agnes, Billy, Claudia....or Zachariah!
These roads are closed because they have not been designed to drain properly or maintained in a satisfactory condition.
Probably done on the cheap to save money and are now costing too much to repair satisfactorily - so we will just have to put up with the various ineptitudes that have created this state of affairs until we have a drier climate!
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 4:11 pm
This afternoon as I enjoyed a leisurely trawl through the Venice of North West England I couldn’t help but think what a spectacular job CEC have done in future proofing us from the threat of forest fires.

With the drains diligently uncleared, roads strategically unswept and houses carefully built on flood plains, they’ve created a semi-aquatic region of special scientific interest, fit for even the most en-flippered Patrick Duffy.
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 4:17 pm
and the amount of new building on flood plain and bog doesn't help either!! Looking at my road flooding for the second time in 18 months
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 7:50 pm
Agree with all the above comments, we traditionally have lived in a very damp area, there is much historic marshland around Wilmslow and Alderley . My wife has lived in this area for nigh on 90 years and comes from Farming stock. Fields often flooded and farmers accepted the wet spells and rotated accordingly.
In the 60s drains and gullies were cleared most dilligently by the Fire Brigade, the most important change has been the building and tarmacking of floodplains with zero consideration to water "run off" and drainage., but "hey ho" pile em' high and build em' cheap and then call in the Greta army to blame it all on the "man in the street's" greed, rapaciousness and contribution to climate change....
Brian Tickner
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 9:34 am
Agree with David & Tony. The A555 is a design disaster I think supervised by Stockport Council. I believe that this road was a Contractor Design & Build contract which may save money initially but....

CEC are currently doing some work on Alderley Road. An improved cycle path? It will be interesting to see what the drainage will be like when they have finished. I wonder if CEC will fix the flooding from the river before they leave the site.
Yvonne Bentley
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 10:28 am
Welsh Row in Nether Alderley was flooded ( again) last night due to years of neglect to the drains and gullies. Two of the older residents had to call upon the fire brigade to pump out their flooded homes last night. The reluctance of the council to deal with the root of the problem is matched by their disinterest in supporting the two older people whose life was turned upside down.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 12:37 pm
Astonishing that the Council know the tanks are full, their solution? Close the road ...never mind actually emptying the tanks. The A34 flooded at Alderley too last night same issues
Mark Russell
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 4:58 pm
Which councillors are in charge of our roads? Because they need sacking. We live in Manchester where it rains, a lot. But we can’t handle it. More inept management.
Nick Jones
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 5:50 pm
No Sustainable drainage systems.. No Soak away... Just more development on greenbelt.

This needs sorting out , not a blind eye turning.

These 'once in a lifetime floods ' have occurred about a dozen times in the past 3 years.
Does that qualify for being designated a flood zone ?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 21st January 2021 at 9:27 pm
@Mark Russell; WE do not live in Manchester, although perhaps you do.
WE, in Wilmslow, write in sentences, rather than a string of somewhat un-connected phrases; your over-frequent posts are becoming somewhat tiresome, at least to me.

"We live in Manchester where it rains, a lot. But we can't handle it". Is this a cry for help?
David Lawrence Owen
Friday 22nd January 2021 at 8:36 am
the floods of Wilmslow have been going on for years and years as a school boy in the late forties or early fifties the Bollyn flooded every year taking away many of the graves in the Paris Church yard, a sad reflection on the area and in total agreement with the comments made.
Mark Russell
Friday 22nd January 2021 at 5:38 pm
@pete. We may live 2 miles from the border, but you know exactly what I’m talking about.

You don’t have to read my comments if you find them tiresome. I find our totally inept councillors tiresome, and I call them out. Which I am 100% entitled to do. Feel free to disprove my comments, but it’s hard to argue with the truth my friend.

Do you think the performance of our council regarding the constant flooding of roads is good? Bear in mind a lot of us around here pay over £500 road tax a year. And we can’t use main roads when in rains, in an area 2 miles south of Manchester.
Pete Taylor
Friday 22nd January 2021 at 7:43 pm
@David Lawrence Owen, we’ve only lived in Wilmslow 45ish years(!) whilst the Bollin floods have occurred since the beginning of time, I don’t recall Alderley Road flooding prior to the construction of the by-pass and diversion of Whitehall Brook.
Under the railway bridge there are attenuation tanks and pumps, which dump water from the bypass into the old course of the Whitehall Brook. Coupled with the partially blocked culvert carrying another watercourse under the Royal London campus it’s no wonder we have had two “once in 200 years” floods already this year!
Alan Brough
Friday 22nd January 2021 at 7:55 pm
Mark Russell,

You might carry some more (argumentative) weight if you’d try and stay “on message”

As Pete Taylor points out, we aren’t Manchester, we are Cheshire East.

And “Road Tax” is not paid to local Councils it’s collected centrally.

I share some of your frustrations at the sh*t storm that we’re often served up, but you have to know your enemy, and direct your fire accordingly.

At ease!
Mark Russell
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 5:25 am
@alan, I don’t believe I said the road tax goes direct to the council? Here’s a useful link, as the money does trickle down to our friends in Sandbach.......

You seem to be fascinated by the fact I said we live in Manchester. Do we have the same weather, or does the rain always stop at the border which is less than 2 miles away?

Perhaps you need to read what I actually say, rather than reading what you want it to say.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 9:23 am
As Alan Brough said: " have to know your enemy and direct your fire accordingly".

It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves how the Highways got into this parlous state:

Cheshire East Highways has been contracted out since the Council was set up; the initial contract with the current provider, referred to above, ran for five years and then (despite all the failings) was extended for a further sixteen years!!!

"Calling out" the current Councillors is aiming at the wrong target; I suspect they have very little control of what goes on day to day with "Highways", privatisation to the lowest bidder is a race to the bottom and we are suffering the consequences.
Mark Russell
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 11:18 am
Really Pete? So the council doesn’t control the contract, the contractor just does as they see fit?
Mark Goldsmith
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 3:04 pm
The investigative work for the new cycle path on Alderley Road has uncovered two reasons for its flooding. A blocked drain under the road and a blocked culvert on Royal London. Cheshire East is now working with United Utilities and Royal London to get these companies to fix them as it is their responsibility.

I believe the storm water attenuation tanks on the A555 were not emptied because the river Bollin was declared a Major Incident. Emptying the tanks into the drainage system could of caused flooding further downstream, so the road was allowed to flood rather than towns or villages. Therefore, the problem may be with the capacity of the rivers and drains to cope with the increasing demands we place on them and not the road engineering.

The link “where does vehicle tax go” is wrong to state it pays for “local social projects such as park upkeep and local, council-run properties such as the town hall, local museums and libraries, as well as services such as rubbish collection and street lighting”. Since 2010 the government has considerably reduced its payments to local government (-49% in real terms) and now these services are all funded from council tax and business rates alone.

The government does still contribute to major capital road projects like the Alderley Edge and Poynton bypasses though.

Finally, the current Highways contract was awarded in the last year of Cheshire East's Conservative administration and runs for 15 years. It would have followed EU and UK tendering laws, so there is no suspicion it was not correctly awarded. However, contracts are designed to give stability to a business agreement, so the council’s ability to alter this contract is limited. We do control the contractor’s performance within the contracts parameters though. However, we are investigating to see if this contract offers us all best value for money and the council’s options if it does not.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Twon Council
Pete Taylor
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 3:40 pm
@Mark Goldsmith, thanks for the clarification.
Matthew Fowler
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 4:09 pm
@Mark really do spoil a good rant with detail and fact..!! Joking apart, it’s great to get your factual posts and updates! Thanks
Nick Jones
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 4:20 pm
Thanks Mark, but clearly rain water / drain situation really does need to be better managed, for development as clearly they cant cope with the increasing demands being placed on you have alluded . Perhaps CEC planning and the Govt mandarins need to reflect on this which is now becoming a National issue... How it can be addressed and managed in the future needs to be more overtly acknowledged in the planning process. The impact is significant to us all.
Alan Brough
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 6:44 pm
Thanks Mark,

Hopefully there will be KPIs and SLAs drawn into those contracts and therefore an ability to hold feet to the fire.
Mark Russell
Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 8:26 pm
@mark. That’s all we can ask for. Review the contractor, and if proven to be not delivering it is removed.
John Harries
Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 7:37 pm
Mark Goldsmith, first thanks for sticking your head above the parapet.
So may we conclude that since 2010 CEC consider planning as a rates generator vehicle as the primary objective - that probably explains quite a lot for some of our contributors.
In regard to the Highways contractor who is a '15 year tenant' for CEC - I could point out that contracts between two parties are based on mutual benefits and not advantages for one and the opposite for the other. The party tendering the contract lays out the requirements and the successful bidder is bound to satisfy those requirements - it's not a blank piece of paper nor is it file and forget; a force majure is usually the only get out clause, otherwise the contractor has to 'perform'. It's unfair [for me] to just focus on the CEC Highways provider but underperforming for 10 years (I use that as a liberal term) seems to be a more than reasonable justification to kick them into touch (and for CEC to get an underperformance/non-compliance refund into the bargain) - underperforming for 10 years can also be levelled at CEC for not doing their job representing the ratepayers (their paymasters) needs.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 28th January 2021 at 2:44 pm
We now have the third flood of 2021 on Alderley Road and the pump is back in action!
Judging by the forecast for tonight and tomorrow I expect the road may have to be closed again.