Wednesday, 15 January 2014

New Path Sections Washed Away


Those who live near Cuddington Rec are probably well aware of the new path which goes from near the playground off Sandringham Road up to the Sparrow Farm Road end. Some readers may even remember that it's route was changed after complaints from residents about it running too close to properties backing onto the park.

Your local blogger has been keeping an eye on developments and I have included some 'work in progress photos' down the left here to show how this has developed and come to fruition. However unfortunately the nice new path has been relatively short lived.

The recent heavy rain and flooding has washed a striped section of the new path away (as shown in the main picture).

Cuddington Rec is more or less where the Beverly Brook begins it's existence. It makes its way down from the top of the hill between the trees down through the park and then into a culvert where heads underground to make it's next appearance above the surface on the other side of Central Road next to Green Lane, having passed under the Brook pub which took it's name from this interesting piece of aquatic trivia.

It's clear from the debris around the area (right) that the entrance to this culvert overflowed rather spectacularly during the heavy flooding a couple of weeks ago, pouring water down the grass slope and washing this section of path away in the process.

Interestingly the culvert itself was almost overflowing today. This picture on the right was taken this afternoon, there having only been light rain over the last couple of days (compared with a couple of weeks ago).

I haven't spent much time in the park in the rain but I suspect that this overflowing at this point is a fairly regular occurrence and I wonder if some pipes could have been lain under the path at this point to allow this overflowing water somewhere to go without causing this damage. Or perhaps the path could have been routed further away from this spot. In the map here it looks to have been specifically deviated towards this point. Mind you it's also near the new poplar trees so it may have been designed to visit this 'point of interest'.

Either way hopefully the path will be fixed soon - with or without the inclusion of a water diverting initiative.


Update (Saturday 18th January)

Thanks very much to the blog reader who has kindly sent me some photos he took yesterday morning showing the impact of the rain from the night before...

Overflowing culvert
The other 'Beverly Brook' - to perhaps be renamed the 'Beverly-Cuddington Overland River'
 'Cuddington Swamp'

18 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Guest said...

What a complete mess - what a complete waste of money.

Would this be another thrown together project from Sutton's illustrious Outer London Fund team?

Dog walker said...

I have walked my dog in this park for years. Although a path is not necessary (part of the fun of park walking involves donning wellies), it could be a good idea if not so cheaply done. The recent rains are unusual, but as the photos show it is not very durable. I must admit it's visually a bit ugly, why not have a green path, this looks like a scar through the once lovely green parkscape.

guest D said...

Shame they didn't go for those plastic honeycombs that can be infilled with either soil and grassed or gravel. It produces a ecologically sound and wheelchair/cycle friendly path that can take light motor traffic.

Though nothing is proof against extreme weather conditions, it would also have stood up to flooding better.

John said...

I like the path as it can get a bit boggy over there and I think its fair to say that this is just a bit unlucky. I saw some guys trying to clear out the culvert the other day when it was flooding down the hill. They did manage to clear it but it sounds like it blocked again.

Steve said...

I understand as a dog walker you are happy to trudge through the mud, but I am a wheelchair user who has lived near the park for many years and for the first time i could actually go for a walk/ wheel in the park. This is all due to the path which has made the park accessible to all, not just those with wellies! I wish before making sweeping statements people would think about others.

As much as the council are messing up changes in Central Road, They shouldnt be blamed for the recent extreme weather, providing they fix it!

Alex said...

Steve, I agree that a pathway would be beneficial, not just for wheelchair users but for everyone - and useable at any time of year.
I disagree that the Council shouldn't be blamed. Pathways old and new, throughout the Borough, and far beyond, stood up to the same weather easily - many of them decades old or older. This one failed dramatically under the same conditions - clearly the design is seriously flawed.

This particular pathway clearly has been constructed with little thought for wear and tear and even less skill. The last thing we need is the same duff Council team to hire the same duff cowboys and have the same thing happen again... and again...etc

At the same time, by contrast, a new pathway has been constructed between Cheam Rec and Nonsuch Park. Soundly built, it shows no sign of decay. It seems Sutton Council can build a decent pathway in Cheam, so why not in Worcester Park?

Chris said...

this path cost approx £120,000 of council tax payers money what a sham didnt even stand the first winter, complete WASHOUT, wonder how much of OUR money it will cost to put it right.....

Guest on clay soil said...

So whoever designed the surface drainage is at fault for not having the foresight to expect Sutton Council to manufacture a quick and dirty path right in its way - and that (obviously) will get washed away? Come off it. Cuddington Rec is ...
a). in a location that receives substantial rainfall.
b). on a steep hill.
c). it's on clay soil.
Add the three together and you've got large volumes of fast flowing surface water. Surely it's reasonable to expect Sutton Council to notice the gradient (on their own maps) before constructing a lightweight sand path' downhill and directly in the pathway of surface water draining away?

guest D said...

You are not dealing with run off from rain fall, but a stream bursting its banks, that is completely different. Look at the sand's flow path it is directly in line with the brook's overflow. Notice also there is no rilling, so it isn't a common occurrence or you'd see it in the erosion pattern. If there was rilling then they should definitely have constructed a culvert under the path or gone much deeper there and built a soak away.

Also if what you say is true, you would expect the path to have damage along other parts of its length, not just by the culvert entrance.

Also notice that the underlying structure of the path is intact, so it is well constructed.

Question: If a water main burst outside your house and it flooded, would the flooding be your fault as you didn't take precautions? Or the water company for lack of maintenance?

St Clair Drive said...

'Just a bit unlucky?' Are you totally unfamiliar with near permanently waterlogged Cuddington Rec? Are you even vaguely familiar with the local climate and rainfall patterns? Just look at the photos ... every time it rains heavily, this path is going to get washed away.
It was barking mad and a complete waste of cash to have built a path there the first time ... to keep on rebuilding it would constitute knowingly, recklessly and deliberately washing (our) public money away. But I don't doubt that's exactly what will happen!

Residents clearly pointed out how impractical this scheme was before it began and the result was that it happened anyway. I'm thinking of framing my latest copy of 'Focus on Nonsuch', with the headline "Cuddlington Rec Regeneration". It was only later that I realised these are exactly the same Councillors responsible for the 'one-way' car park. Whatever next?

Barry said...

St.Clair
Many years ago I often used to walk home from school down Cuddington Rec. After rain, lower parts of it always became a swamp, so of course this pathetic attempt at a footpath was always going to be a waste of money.

On another point however. "Focus on Nonsuch"
I'm quite amused. I came from the Epsom & Ewell side of Worcester Park and I'm quite aware that the vast majority of Nonsuch Park is within the boundaries of said council. Only a tiny fraction of the park is within the Sutton area, and even that part is nowhere near Cuddington Rec.....
Surely "Focus on Nonsuch" cannot be an attempted land-grab by those crazy Liberal Commisars in the Sutton Kremlin to waste even more of your money on footpaths????

St Clair Drive said...

Hi Barry,
Like you, and no doubt everyone else living here, (except it seems one or two local Councillors) on my first Winter visit, I worked out that that Cuddington Rec was a swamp for the Winter months and a pretty grim mud soup after sustained rainfall.

Given that we have residential streets that completely enclose the Rec, a solution has always been to hand. A muddy pathway inside is and will always be an inferior duplication for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users - and a total waste of (our) money.

And by the way, have you noticed that in places where the pathway is managing to contain puddles of stagnant water, it is starting to really stink? It looks and smells like a great summer breeding ground for mosquitos and co - right in the middle of a public park! We shall see on that one.

"Focus of Nonsuch" (ward), is probably what they mean, which as you say, doesn't contain much of Nonsuch Park, but does contain Victoria House. Another financial makeover experiment, endorsed by exactly the same local councillors, that made the headline of 'Focus on Nonsuch. And, again, another investment of (our) money that proved to be a complete failure.

St Clair Drive said...

Hi Chris,
£120,000??? I'd be interested to know where you found that figure, particularly if it's something that Sutton Council are pushing out.

Buying and issuing everyone in Worcester Park a pair of Wellington boots would probably have been cheaper!!!

Barry said...

I thought the figure of £120,000 a bit insane..... UNTIL I found that this blog reported, on 27 May 2013, that £100,000 had been set aside for this work.
Jeez!!!... I would have done it myself for a quarter of that AND I would have guaranteed it would be just as big a failure.
Yep, you'd end up with the same sloppy mess of a park, but at least I would have saved you about 80 thousand quid!!
The crazy thing is that this bunch of council morons have been sitting in power in Sutton for 27 years with a track record to rival the Keystone Cops...... and people still vote for them. Obviously they're doing something right..... somewhere.....But I'm still looking hard for evidence of this modern-day miracle!!!

Chris said...

The original information came from the council I was told second hand

Chris said...

If I remember correctly as a resident in st clair drive, we received a letter telling us that a path was being installed....there was of consultation with residents prior to that letter or if there was we never received it all I can say is "WHAT NO PLANNING PERMISSION REQUIRED" just goes to show its not what you know it's who you know

Chris said...

Be interested to know if the contractors who built it will put it right FREE OF CHARGE

Guest said...

To be fair, why should the contractor pay for the errors of judgement of our local councillors and local council? - They built what they were contracted to - had they been contracted to burn £120,000, it wouldn't have been the contractor's fault that the result was £120K had gone up in smoke!

A recent issue of Focus informed residents that Cllrs. Kirsty and Gerry Jerome are committed to rebuilding the path and have gone cap in hand to Boris Johnson, asking for more money, so they can watch it frittered and washed away. . . all over again.

The article also showed the Nonsuch Ward's new Liberal Democrat candidates standing shoulder to shoulder with the Jeromes on this. So we can be absolutely sure there is a firm party commitment to a pathway that we don't want or need (and we can be similarly sure that none of them are listening).

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