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Gutter press

I would like to clarify a couple of points made in Damian Arnold's report in NCE on 31 January.

Firstly, it is not intended to double the number of gullies in Sheffield, which would imply that surface water drainage was the reason for the flooding in the city in June 2007.

This is simply not the case, the flooding was caused by overtopping of the main rivers, which is supported by evidence endorsed by Professor Richard Ashley in recent NCE reports.

It could be that the number of gully pots in the highway are doubled locally at a few drainage hot spots when carrying out future special maintenance schemes, but that is very different from doubling the number of gully pots across the network as a whole, which is unnecessary, impractical and unaffordable.

Secondly, the floods did take the city into new territory in terms of the scale of damage to the highway infrastructure caused by a single event.

The City Council has worked very closely with the Department for Transport and, thanks to its financial support, the City's highway network will be restored to its pre-flood condition by the end of the year.

JOHN CHARLTON (M), director of street force, Sheffield City Council

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