Network Rail blamed for Thorpe Market drain problem

Highways chiefs are waiting on Network Rail to clear a pipe and ditch on its land to alleviate a flooding risk near a north Norfolk village.

North Norfolk Labour Party highlighted the issue at Thorpe Market alongside a similar problem at Edgefield - and warned of an increased risk of flooding if action was not taken.

Subsequently, Norfolk County Council said the blockage at Edgefield Hill had been cleared on July 9, and everything was left in 'good working order'.

But a spokesman said successful clearance at Thorpe Market depended on Network Rail.

He said: 'The gullies draining the road have been cleaned five times this year already, but they will not work as they should until Network Rail clears a pipe, chamber and ditch on its land.

'The county council has been in touch with Network Rail several times, but without success.

'On private property where drainage systems have not been maintained the council has the power to carry out the work and recover the cost, but this does not apply to railway land. We will continue to pursue Network Rail, but until we get a response, there is nothing more we can do.'

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A Network Rail spokesman said: 'The pipe is buried under several metres of earth, so we are assessing the best way we can carry out the necessary repairs. If members of the public have any concerns, they can contact our helpline on 08457 114141.'

Scott Eastwood, North Norfolk Labour's spokesman for Thorpe Market, said: 'The highways department at the county council needs to act on warnings to make sure our drains are clear - particularly with warnings of floods across the country at the moment.'

Callum Ringer, spokesman for Edgefield, said 'numerous calls' had been made to the county council about the Edgefield blockage.

He said the flooding point was 'in a blind spot at the bottom of the hill' and could be a 'major issue for motorcyclists'.

The county council spokesman said there was only one complaint on record about Edgefield, from the parish council on May 31.

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