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UPDATE: Work due to start to end tunnel flooding ‘saga’

jpco-5-2-14 Flooded school walk - Train tunnel between Marion Road in Furnace Green and Oriel School,  Maidenbower  (Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-5-2-14 Flooded school walk - Train tunnel between Marion Road in Furnace Green and Oriel School, Maidenbower (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Work will begin next week to solve the flooding problem in a pedestrian tunnel between Furnace Green and Maidenbower.

Following a petition from residents and pressure from Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council and the town’s MP Henry Smith, VolkeFitzpatrick, the contractor for Network Rail, has released a timetable of work to put permanent drainage in the tunnel at Maidenbower Lane.

It will start on Monday and is scheduled to be complete by the end of half term.

Mr Smith, who was leader of West Sussex County Council when he first encountered the problem more than seven years ago, said: “I am grateful to West Sussex Fire and Rescue for agreeing to pump the floodwater from the tunnel earlier today.

“It’s been a really long saga and an extensive search for who’s responsible for the tunnel. I managed to determine it was Network Rail and understand they are putting in drainage in the coming weeks.”

Writing to parents today (February 6) headteacher of Oriel High School Philip Stack said: “The school has been notified that works to alleviate the flooding issue that has affected the bridleway under the railway bridge will begin on Monday February 10.

“The works are scheduled to be completed by Friday February 21.

“The school is pleased to hear that action is finally being taken to improve drainage under the bridge. We also want to note the fantastic efforts of many families and their children to make sure this ongoing flood issue was resolved.

“We are also grateful for the many messages parents and carers have passed to the school regarding the bridleway over the past week.

“As a school we should also like to thank VolkeFitzpatrick, Network Rail, Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council and our local MP, Henry Smith. All have been involved in finding a sustainable solution.

“I do appreciate that the flooding remains a frustrating issue for our school and our families and whilst we are all anxious about the current conditions, we remain hopeful that the planned works will remedy the issue on a permanent basis.”

 

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