The image above was taken yesterday (Sunday 5th July). This is Wharf Road to the south of Stanford-le-Hope in the eastern part of Thurrock. There hasn’t been any serious rain for some time so the weather can’t be blamed for the flooding. This is how the incident was reported in the local media: Residents thanked for patience after latest flooding at blackspot – but how long will they have to wait for a permanent solution to recurring problem?

This is where the road takes a dip to get under the railway which leads to the nearby London Gateway port. Enough of a dip to go below the water table so pumps have to be deployed to stop this stretch of road from flooding. After the road passes under the railway, it splits. Turn left and you end up in a trading estate. Turn right and it’s the fishing lakes, the seawall and a number of residential properties. Thank f*** none of the residents had a medical problem that would have required an ambulance because they would have been screwed. What could have happened had there been a medical emergency doesn’t bear thinking about.

This is not a new problem – it’s been going on intermittently for a few decades. There’s this from 2008: Flood must not happen again. ‘Must not happen again’ – priceless, absolutely fecking priceless! Every councillor who has been elected in the Stanford West ward where Wharf Road is knows there’s an issue with flooding. Thurrock Council know there’s an issue with flooding. It’s all very well blustering that ‘action needs to be taken’ every time the pumps cut out and the road floods then leaving things to drift after yet another patch up job has been undertaken. The residents of Stanford-le-Hope plus the businesses and their workers in the nearby trading estate have long ceased to be impressed by well meaning words – they want some decisive action pronto!

You know what really sticks in our craw? When the railway running across the bridge was upgraded at great expense to service the Dubai Ports owned London Gateway port (opened 2013), that would have been the ideal opportunity to fix the flooding problem in Wharf Road once and for all. Dubai Ports have incredibly deep pockets and even if the cost of fixing the problem had run over into six figures, they wouldn’t have noticed it. A gesture of goodwill. What happened – sweet FA!

Why are we getting exercised about a road under a bridge that keeps flooding? Because it’s symptomatic of how incompetent and dysfunctional Thurrock Council are. It shows up the gap between mere bullshit and actually getting things fixed. Also because it shows up how multi-national corporations such as Dubai Ports merely pay lip service to the locations they operate in but won’t spend the serious money needed to fix infrastructure problems and make all of our lives better in the process.

No more bullshit, no more excuses, get it fecking sorted! Our patience is running out…