Shoebury underpass floods left “for weeks”

Angry parents are urging Southend Council to take action at two pedestrian underpasses which have been “flooded for weeks”.

The underpasses, either side of Constable Way in Shoebury, provide a walkway for youngsters attending Friars Primary school.

With both under water, they are currently impassable and parents have to walk their children to school or leave them to cross a busy road alone.

A mum, who asked not to be named, said: “My child likes to be able to walk in the underpass with friends in the mornings while I can safely watch her go through the school gate to promote a bit of independence before she goes up to high school.

“With the underpass being flooded she cannot do this so gets upset and doesn’t understand why it’s still flooded as we haven’t had much rain.

“Other children have been seen running across the main road as they must walk to school by themselves and have no other option to get there if it’s blocked. This isn’t safe.”

Residents say the underpasses have been under water for at least four weeks.

Southend Council has put barriers up but no other action appears to have been taken.

Another parent, who also asked not to be named, said: “It’s been flooded for weeks. It’s been reported to the council but they haven’t fixed it.

“This is the third time in the past year. One side fills up then the other side starts. It happened before the storm.

“Kids are having to use the road which is quite dangerous. The underpasses are used by many children and parents every day.”

Peter Lovett, vice chairman of Shoebury Residents’ Association, said: “I contacted our three ward councillors but only one, Nick Ward, replied. He said he would deal with so we will see.

“It is causing a lot of problems for residents who have to cross that road. We’ve had these problems before. A lot of these underpasses rely on a pump system but I don’t know if this is the case here. Calls have been made to the council but nothing has been done.”

Nick Ward, Independent councillor for Shoeburyness ward, said: “Officers have been down to look at it and will start work on it today or tomorrow morning. Yesterday was the first time I had heard anything about it. It seems no one reported it to ward councillors before now which is a shame because that’s what we are here for.

“It shouldn’t take any time to put right.”

Southend Council was contacted for comment.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter