May the 4th be with you! TfB’s enhanced gully programme prepares to launch next week

Following the February budget announcement that an injection of £4m of funding would boost the Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) gully clearance programme, work will begin from 4 May 2021.

This additional investment, which brings the total drainage programme to £6.6m this year, will enable each of the 75,000 gullies on the road network to be cleared. The fleet, typically comprising three gully machines, will be supported by a further four machines and operators, which will run out of the three area depots at Aylesbury, Amersham and High Wycombe, meaning clearance will begin in all areas of the County.

This means that the gully clearance programme will be enhanced from the usual programme  which clears major roads annually and the others on a three-year cyclical basis, to every gully being cleared over the course of this year. 

In addition to gully cleansing, the boosted programme will ensure that structural repairs are also routinely carried out.    Where necessary, grips - which allow surface water to flow into ditches - will be added to a programme of works and additional ditching works identified.  Where gully grates are jammed, a team will be carrying out remedial works and release them in the following weeks.

Local Area Technicians will write to landowners to ensure ditches are cleared as part of their riparian responsibility and enforcement will follow if necessary. They will also identify schemes where major drainage works are required.

Director for Highways and Technical Services at Buckinghamshire Council, Rob Smith, said: “This package of measures should really start to have an impact before the winter rains set in again. We experienced such heavy rainfall over the last year, where we had highway flooding on numerous occasions, so this additional funding to tackle the problem is very welcome.”

For more information about our gully cleaning programme, visit our FAQs blog post.