A flooded pedestrian subway in Lawrence Hill | Image credit: Paul Gills

The pedestrian subway under the Lawrence Hill roundabout to the east of Bristol city centre has, yet again, been flooded after heavy rain. This is how the latest incident has been covered in the local media: Flooded Bristol subway sees cyclist and scooter riders face soggy commutes 4.1.22. This is not a new problem. It’s been happening for over a decade as made clear in this report from January 2020: The underpasses that have flooded when it rains for EIGHT YEARS 14.1.20.

If you’re trying to walk through this subway after heavy rain has flooded it (and probably a few others as well), you’ll need a pair of wellington boots. Now if you live in the countryside, wellington boots in a wet winter are pretty much an essential item. However, you can be forgiven for thinking that if you live in the city, you shouldn’t need a pair. That’s because in the 21st century, it’s reasonable to expect that subways should not be allowed to flood because they should be well maintained.

For FFS, this has been going on for over a decade! Does it seriously take Bristol City Council over a decade to establish why these subways are flooding and then undertake the remedial work necessary to ensure they don’t flood when there’s heavy rain? We’re close to the Bristol Channel and heavy rain is a feature of the weather in this region. So why the f**k isn’t the infrastructure across the city maintained to a standard where it can cope with heavy rain so that flooding does not occur?

We’re talking about the basics that any local authority should be getting right as a matter of course. There shouldn’t be any dramas or issues relating to stopping a subway from flooding after heavy rain. The fact that this and a fair few other subways are flooded after heavy rain speaks volumes about the (in)competence of Bristol City Council as well as their skewed priorities.