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Villagers lives being made hell by lake-sized puddle

17 Mar 2024 4 minute read
The giant puddle in Bettws. Photo David John

Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter

Residents in a former mining village say their lives are being made hell, due to a giant “lake sized” puddle on the road outside of their homes.

The group of locals, who live in Heol Richard Price, in the village of Bettws, say a blocked drain on the road outside their houses is to blame, causing a giant pool of water that can reach lengths of up to 40 foot.

Those who live on the street have claimed they have been unable to get in or out of their cars without getting drenched from either walking through the puddle, or from passing cars splashing them with a six foot high shower of water.

Tensions

Others have said the blockage has also led to tensions between neighbours who scramble to park away from the standing water, as well as fears over safety as cars often swerve to avoid the puddle it at the last minute.

David John has lived in the village for just over ten months now and said that, despite numerous calls and letters to the local authority, nothing had been done.

David John of Bettws, and the giant puddle outside of his home Photo Lewis Smith

He said: “I’m  just fed up of trying to get to my car in the wet weather, then having to come straight back in to change clothes because I’m drenched. The puddle can often go right across the road covering both sides sometimes, and if you have more than two days of continuous rain it can end up being more than 40 foot long.

“If it was just a little puddle I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not little at all, sometimes it’s more like a stream or a river, and no-one should have to wear wellington boots to get in the car all the time.

“It can really start to get to you, and while  I can understand that the council are limited in their services this has been going on for years. As far as we’re aware the drainage is broken in the field opposite where the rain is supposed to go, so something needs to be done.  Nobody likes this kind of inconvenience and it’s just not right.”

‘Massive’

Alan Jorolen lives on the same street and said: “On rainy days it just gets worse and worse to the point where it’s becoming quite dangerous for us to park there. It’s massive as you can see for yourself, so we need something to be done.

“People who are aware of it slow down, but others are flying into it or swerving around it at the last minute and we’ve had a few near misses since I’ve lived here. It’s also caused aggravation with parking and it’s not fair.”

Kay Morgan of Bettws added: “It is a lake-sized puddle. You can’t get away from it and it’s causing people problems. It’s pushing waves of water over the cars when people drive past and it’s compromising the parking here as well.”

Drainage problem

A Bridgend County Borough Council spokesperson, said they had been made aware of the problems with water in the area and were currently trying to resolve them. They said: “Our highways team are aware of a drainage problem at Heol Richard Price in Bettws and are looking to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

“The drainage from the highway discharges into private land and the landowner on the land registry records has advised us that he no longer owns the land and has sold it on. We are now trying to make contact with the new owner and work will then begin at the earliest opportunity when resources permit.

“Throughout the recent storms and spells of heavy rain, council crews have been working around the clock across the county borough to inspect culverts and drains to ensure all highways remain open and safe.”


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