Author Topic: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd  (Read 8491 times)

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Offline ML

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Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« on: December 19, 2014, 04:27:53 pm »
At the weekend, my car skidded on ice at the end of Moffats Lane into Bluebridge Rd.  The ice is caused by water continuously flowing onto the road from a property at the end of Moffats Lane.  I have phoned the local authority, police and county council who all tell me there is nothing they can do (not even put up a sign warning others) because the water is coming from private property.  So I am trying to warn other road users of the hazard in Moffats Lane in icy weather. Please take extra care when approaching the junction from Moffats Lane and when turning in to Moffats Lane.

If anyone has any ideas about any other authority who might be able to help, I'd be grateful if you would post your advice.
 

Offline Peeplins

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 05:20:50 pm »
Have you spoken with the owners of the property or the water board?
 

LBN01

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 07:13:31 pm »
The same thing happened to our car at the weekend in the exact same spot. The pavement is also icy there at times.

It seems odd that the local authority can't do anything. By failing or refusing to do anything about something which is a hazard on the footway or highway, regardless of the original cause, I wonder whether the council/Highways Agency leaves itself open to potential liability should someone injure themselves.

There is already a case logged on the Welhat website in respect of the footway (but not the highway). You can "subscribe" to the case here http://www.hertsdirect.org/faultsearch/ under reference 201006609809
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 08:42:46 am by Editor »
 

Offline ML

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 08:07:44 pm »
Thank you for these helpful responses. I tried to speak to the owner after the accident but didnt get anywhere. The police said to ring back when it is icy and they may go round, but my view is that that is leaving it too late. I will subscribe to the fault search below.
 

LBN01

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2014, 10:20:37 pm »
I hope you weren't too shaken after the accident.

It seems the Highways Agency and local authority do have powers and duties in this sort of situation , as outlined here: http://m.hertsdirect.org/mm/md/Land_Drainage_Topic_Group_2/Duties_and_Powers.doc
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 08:43:02 am by Editor »
 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 07:03:32 pm »
As the owners of the property referred to in this post we feel that we should give a detailed response.

We have been very concerned about the problem for some time as in addition the water outflow into the road it is doing little to enhance our drive but all efforts to resolve it have failed so far.

To explain the issue in detail when we moved to the property we had two dilapidated garages knocked down and replaced with new ones, for which planning permission was sought and granted. Under building regulations we were required to provide a soak away for the rain water. As people may be aware you are not permitted to discharge surface water into the public sewer nor let it run off into the garden as it was before on any new development.

Our builder who is an established local reputable company dug the soak away to a lager size than was required under the building regulations so that we could accommodate some of the surface water from our main roof and it was fully approved by the building inspector before being covered up.

We had no issues with it initially but after a particularly wet winter we started to get water seeping out through our block paving around the area of the soak away.

We were initially advised that it takes a little time for soak aways to fully establish themselves but the volume of water has grown and by observation appears to be of a greater quantity than that which might be expected from our surface water collection. You may have noticed that the water runs for several days following rainfall which in itself is peculiar and suggestive of ground water penetration rather than drainage.

Our builder has attempted to reduce the problem by removing those sources of surface water that are not required to be coupled to the soak away by the building regulations with little impact.

We are not the only property to have water run off in Moffats lane, however it is unfortunate that ours runs across the road due to the camber of the road and position of the drain.

There is also a lot of surface water in Mymms Drive which should be of equal concern during icy weather.

In order to try to make some advances with solving the issue we invited the builder and building inspector last week to a joint meeting to see if they could suggest what we could do next. (We have been waiting for a day just after it had rained when we could get both together, not an easy task!) Unfortunately they were both baffled having never experienced this problem before and could offer no advice as to how to cure it. The concern is that the soak away could be acting as a sump for water coming down Moffats Lane as we are at the bottom of the hill. Also this problem did not exist before the extension was built at No 1 and whilst there is no suggestion or implication on our part that it was built in any way improperly it is possible that the foundations and/or any soak aways that they had to provide has increased the local ground water.

Whilst no one wants pay work that will not generate a result we feel that we can not leave the situation as it is and therefore have requested the builder to expose the soak away to see if we can identify the source of the water which might then lead us to a potential solution. The concern of all parties is that we will end up with a hole overflowing with water not related to our surface water and be no further forward! We did suggest relocating the soak away but at present no one can gurantee at this time that this would solve the problem, merely move it to another location.

Obviously we would like this work done as soon as possible but realistically it is unlikely to be before the New Year. Equally we can not give a date when it will be resolved as we have no idea how to resolve it!

We would point out that we have been gritting the road and pavement when we believe it will be icy and are at home to do so and also note the speed at which some drivers approach the junction having to brake hard. We had to slow a number of vehicles down when we were in the road salting it immediately after we received the report of the skidding incident.

Finally if anyone has any constructive advice how this might be solved we would all be grateful.
 

Offline ML

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 07:35:34 pm »
Thank you for this explanation. I hope that you are able to resolve the situation. In the meantime, I wonder if you or the council would but up a warning sign to warn other road users?
 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 07:50:26 pm »
I will speak to the neighbours in Moffats Lane to see if they are happy to have a sign outside their house
 

Offline William McCaskie

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 08:36:48 am »
I spoke with Camper yesterday. As you can see he is doing everything possible to rectify the situation. A note on warning signs though. As Camper stated there are other wet areas around the village due to water running down hills and of fields. Highways would not be happy if homemade warning signs started to appear all over the place. Most of you should be aware were the possible areas are that could ice over and as such should adjust your driving speeds to compensate. Remember you should drive differently when roads are wet, foggy, or icy. The problem on Moffats is at the junction so if you are coming down the hill or turning into the road you should be at minimum speed anyway.
Bill.
William McCaskie
Hatfield south
safer neighbourhood team
Hatfield police station
Comet Way
Hatfield AL10 9SJ
 

LBN01

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 11:08:36 am »
Thanks Bill and Camper for the explanations and the considerable effort that is going into resolving this.

If it's not reasonably practicable to change the drainage/water run-off, then I do think signage is worth considering seriously. Even though I hate seeing more street furniture. Not a home-made sign as I agree we could end up with signs all over the place and not always well-positioned or legible enough not to distract drivers even more.

I disagree with the "but you all live here" argument. There are plenty of people using our roads who may not know the area such as delivery drivers, our friends and family, tradespeople etc. If everyone using a road knew it well enough to know where all the hazards were then we wouldn't need much signage at all. I'd hate to think I could forget to tell someone to watch out for the ice and then something might happen to them when they were coming to see us.

In terms of road conditions, while I agree that some drivers do go too fast on Moffats Lane, there appear to have been at least two drivers already caught unawares by this patch of ice when travelling at slow speeds (I assume ML wasn't driving fast or s/he wouldn't be raising this!), however I think it's the differential that's key. So while you might be fine driving on the rest of the gritted road all the way up to the junction, there is a sudden change in iciness at that point (despite Camper's own gritting), with no warning.

Also, pedestrians don't often speed. Fewer of them I suspect are new to the road but some categories of pedestrian may find it harder to remember the potential for ice or be less able to take a big step over it. In the dark (which is a longer period in the colder months) they may not see it.

All in all, I don't think it can just stay as is. Camper points out that (for whatever reason, and without getting into why as it's unclear) the water flow seems to have increased recently and so perhaps now is the time to consider an "ice" warning sign.
 

Offline Bedlam

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 06:13:09 pm »
Thanks to 'camper' for trying to cure this situation and for taking the trouble to post the detailed explanation.
 

Offline larrylamb

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2014, 08:35:32 pm »
As the owners of the property referred to in this post we feel that we should give a detailed response.

We have been very concerned about the problem for some time as in addition the water outflow into the road it is doing little to enhance our drive but all efforts to resolve it have failed so far.

To explain the issue in detail when we moved to the property we had two dilapidated garages knocked down and replaced with new ones, for which planning permission was sought and granted. Under building regulations we were required to provide a soak away for the rain water. As people may be aware you are not permitted to discharge surface water into the public sewer nor let it run off into the garden as it was before on any new development.

Our builder who is an established local reputable company dug the soak away to a lager size than was required under the building regulations so that we could accommodate some of the surface water from our main roof and it was fully approved by the building inspector before being covered up.

We had no issues with it initially but after a particularly wet winter we started to get water seeping out through our block paving around the area of the soak away.

We were initially advised that it takes a little time for soak aways to fully establish themselves but the volume of water has grown and by observation appears to be of a greater quantity than that which might be expected from our surface water collection. You may have noticed that the water runs for several days following rainfall which in itself is peculiar and suggestive of ground water penetration rather than drainage.

Our builder has attempted to reduce the problem by removing those sources of surface water that are not required to be coupled to the soak away by the building regulations with little impact.

We are not the only property to have water run off in Moffats lane, however it is unfortunate that ours runs across the road due to the camber of the road and position of the drain.

There is also a lot of surface water in Mymms Drive which should be of equal concern during icy weather.

In order to try to make some advances with solving the issue we invited the builder and building inspector last week to a joint meeting to see if they could suggest what we could do next. (We have been waiting for a day just after it had rained when we could get both together, not an easy task!) Unfortunately they were both baffled having never experienced this problem before and could offer no advice as to how to cure it. The concern is that the soak away could be acting as a sump for water coming down Moffats Lane as we are at the bottom of the hill. Also this problem did not exist before the extension was built at No 1 and whilst there is no suggestion or implication on our part that it was built in any way improperly it is possible that the foundations and/or any soak aways that they had to provide has increased the local ground water.

Whilst no one wants pay work that will not generate a result we feel that we can not leave the situation as it is and therefore have requested the builder to expose the soak away to see if we can identify the source of the water which might then lead us to a potential solution. The concern of all parties is that we will end up with a hole overflowing with water not related to our surface water and be no further forward! We did suggest relocating the soak away but at present no one can gurantee at this time that this would solve the problem, merely move it to another location.

Obviously we would like this work done as soon as possible but realistically it is unlikely to be before the New Year. Equally we can not give a date when it will be resolved as we have no idea how to resolve it!

We would point out that we have been gritting the road and pavement when we believe it will be icy and are at home to do so and also note the speed at which some drivers approach the junction having to brake hard. We had to slow a number of vehicles down when we were in the road salting it immediately after we received the report of the skidding incident.

Finally if anyone has any constructive advice how this might be solved we would all be grateful.
By its very nature a soak away or french drain has to have a permeable surface for the water to drain through, which is its achilles heel when the ground below the surface becomes saturated as the water pushes up from below ground to an area of least resistence, that being your soak away, by building a soakaway you effectively pierce the clay membrane.

You are correct in assertion that your soakaway is now acting as a sump for all the water run off from higher ground. In order for a soakaway to be effective you must dig down through the clay until you reach a permeable aggregrate. You dont say exactly where the soakaway is in relation to your footing/foundations, as you dont want to undermine the structure with a deep excavation next to a building.

Not sure how practical it would be as I dont know the layout of your property, but the simplest and most cost effective solution would be to engage with a experienced mini digger operater and dig a narrow bore excavation as deep as possible through the clay as far as possible from your house towards the front and channel the exisiting drain into the new. once the hole is formed back fill with crushed concrete or similar and blind with pea shingle, this will stabilise the excavation but will allow water to run through.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 09:03:57 pm by larrylamb »
 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 10:30:18 am »
given the level of interest I thought that it might be appropriate to post an update.



Work will commence tomorrow to dig out the soak away and I have agreed with the builder for it to both be larger and be of a different design. The plan is to leave a hole for a few days to monitor how effective it is at draining the water. Residents are invited to come for a swim if they feel up to it!


In response to larrylamb the original soak away is positioned well away from the foundations and was dig with a mini digger to its max depth. We have looked to move the soak away to another place but have been advised that there is no guarantee that this will not transfer the problem elsewhere. The run off from my house is either to Moffats Lane or Bluebridge Road. The current thought is to dig it out to a much larger capacity and monitor what happens. If it still overflows then we will have to consider a second drainage point. For the technically minded I am going from a rubble filled soak away to a crated one with twelve crates. That will provide a very substantial area to hold water. Thank you for your input.



 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2015, 06:46:41 pm »
In the spirit of keeping everyone informed this is the position so far:-


We now have a giant hole in our drive and as no surprise but with some disappointment this is not a solution as anyone passing by will observe as we still have water coming out over the top and running across the road.


We are now in discussion with Thames water and it seems that we may be able to get access to the surface water drainage that runs close to the property. This now has to be agreed with their engineers and the local building inspector and although we will pursue with urgency their timescales suggest that it is going to take a minimum of 30 days.


In the mean time with the weather set to get cold again can I implore people to take care at the junction.



 

Offline Editor

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2015, 07:12:19 pm »
In the mean time with the weather set to get cold again can I implore people to take care at the junction.

Thanks for the update and the warning. Appreciated. David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2015, 08:04:36 pm »
Yes, can I echo the thoughts of others and thank you for keeping us up to date with what must be a very frustrating situation for you.


James

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I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline larrylamb

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2015, 08:48:21 pm »
In the spirit of keeping everyone informed this is the position so far:-


We now have a giant hole in our drive and as no surprise but with some disappointment this is not a solution as anyone passing by will observe as we still have water coming out over the top and running across the road.


We are now in discussion with Thames water and it seems that we may be able to get access to the surface water drainage that runs close to the property. This now has to be agreed with their engineers and the local building inspector and although we will pursue with urgency their timescales suggest that it is going to take a minimum of 30 days.


In the mean time with the weather set to get cold again can I implore people to take care at the junction.




Out of interest how deep is the hole and what was the make up of the spoil removed?

Thanks
 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2015, 09:38:29 am »
Yes it is frustrating especially as getting the appropriate advice is difficult. We already have a problem in the rear which is caused by surface water connections made to the foul water drain up Moffats Road which can cause flooding at times as we are at the bottom of the run and the pipe beyond our property can not take the volume of water generated. This is an issue that we have already reported to Thames Water but they are not that interested as it only affects one or two of us.


To Larry Lamb we dug to approx 1.5/1.6 Metres and had to stop because the hole was becoming unstable on the sides due to the wetness of the spoil. It is generally water logged clay but not of the very dense variety.


Another site visit today from the Building Inspector and Builder to agree our next course of action.
 

Offline camper

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Re: Dangerous junction between Moffats Lane and Bluebridge Rd
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2015, 08:43:14 pm »
This hopefully will be my final post on this issue.

Just to reiterate, following investigation the water that flowed from our property over the path and carriageway in Moffats Lane appears to be caused primarily from surface water as it runs down the hill and under our drive. Unfortunately the requirement to provide a soak away when we had our garages built provided a conduit for this water and when combined with the high water table it could not be absorbed and hence found a route out through our drive and then onto the carriageway. Sadly the camber of the road lead to that water crossing it and in cold weather potentially freezing.


Observation shows that there are a number of properties in Moffats Lane that suffer the same problem but are fortunate that the water flows down the gutter rather than across the road and the top of Mymms Drive appears to have a worse problem.

You will have gathered from previous posts that finding a solution has proved very difficult despite requests for advice from "experts" We believe that  we have now provided a robust solution by our own initiative with the support of our builder, albeit time will tell, but it has been at considerable financial cost to us.

Although our work to fix the problem is now complete and we should now not be contributing to ice build up on the road drivers should still approach this junction with caution especially when its wet or icy.

P.S. We are happy to receive any financial contribution to the costs! (lol)
 

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