Labour runs Rhondda Cynon Taf Council but has done nothing permanent to prevent the flooding of the Public Right of Way and National Cycle route, why?

Labour runs Rhondda Cynon Taf Council but has done nothing permanent to prevent the flooding of the Public Right of Way and National Cycle route, why?

Didn’t the leader of the council advise a permanent solution to the ongoing flooding at the Ynys underpass was going to happen? The annual flooding of the Public Right of Way and National Cycle Route 478 has started as usual at the start of the autumn rainy season. Pumps are not the solution as can be seen not only by the constant flooding but they have to be maintained and because of iron corrosion they changed regularly costing taxpayers thousands.


Local councillors were mentioned on Twitter as this is a long-term problem so have the councillors responsible been in post for years with constant complaints on social media, but they are in the full knowledge that they will be voted back in at the next election as Aberdare.

Aberdare South is a safe Labour seat so basically, we can all complain but the Labour-run council don’t have to do anything as it’s a safe Labour seat and that’s the bottom line. If this were happening in Mountain Ash would Aberaman Cwmbach and Aberdare residents be having this continual problem?


Photo by

Welshlass2 Replying to

Twitter @AndrewMorganRCT

See flooding again yesterday and today …at main route to school for kids to Aberdare Community school from  Cwmbach ..can you help please


Twitter Peter Hopkins Replying to @Welshlass22 @AberdareOnline and @AndrewMorganRCT

This has been happening for ages despite people telling  @RCTCouncil about it. Who is the local councillor? Tell them and if they do nothing then remember that at the next election.



In 2014 AberdareOnline emailed the council after a meeting with the council at the AberdareCanal Head.


 For the attention of John C. Spanswick Green Spaces Manager Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.


Ref: Public Right of Way Violet Street Aberaman to Old Canal Head Aberdare 


The first heavy rain of the winter and the Right of Way (ROW) is impossible to use, the money spent back in the summer employing contractors to install new water pumps and ancillary electrical works etc. There is also a maintenance contract that we the taxpayer are forking out for.


Having had a meeting with one of your officers at the canal head where we were informed that at the end of last month the canal would be cleaned out of silt and vegetation. It would seem at the moment that water is just running back down the discharge pipe and flooding the ROW under the bridge.


As the council is aware of the problem and has been for over a year there is no excuse for this ROW to be repeatedly unusable to the public at the first drop of heavy rain. 


What is the program for cleaning out the canal what is the start date?

What has the council done to obtain confirmation that where all the water that discharges from the canal the owners clean out the watercourse?


We am aware you are not responsible for other landowners but they have a responsibility https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/riverside-ownership-rights-and-responsibilities


As you are well aware this watercourse is not cleaned out completely from the canal head to the new Flood Relief Channel Persimmon Homes Development site Coed Dyffryn. 


Will the next problem be flooding on the railway line and no train services?


We await your response



RCT Council response Tuesday, 25 November 2014


Many thanks for your correspondence on the problems we have at the above location and my apologies for the delay in replying. It would be fair to say we have experienced a number of mechanical problems with the installation – and this coupled with the very heavy rainfall over the last few weeks has resulted in the underpass becoming impassable.


Fortunately the underpass has now been pumped dry following an engineer visiting the site. The problem was found to be that a non-return valve had failed and has now been replaced, but it should be noted that any component can and does fail at some time. Although we do everything within our remit to maintain the equipment there will obviously be times when things can and do fail.


The pumps have now been serviced and tested and are working as designed. It must also be noted that this low-level area is subject to a great deal of groundwater flooding and during periods of heavy rain it will possibly take the pumps a number of hours to reduce the water level, and even then it has limited capacity to remove excessive amounts of rainfall in a short period of time. Nevertheless, the pump/sump is on a monthly inspection schedule and clean-out program and during forecasts for excessive heavy rain, all attempts will be made to check for blockages, etc. beforehand.


Regarding the silt clearance of the Canal Basin I wish to inform you that works were going to take place during early November but have now been rescheduled for Dec / Jan period as a funding opportunity has been identified that will save the Council paying directly for the work. Once the funding and the date has been finalised then the works will be undertaken. It may also be noted that the blocked culvert at the Southern end of the canal was unblocked by Natural Resources Wales as it was found to be their responsibility.


Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will endeavour to help wherever practical.



John C. Spanswick

Green Spaces Manager

(Parks Development & Countryside)

Llwyncastan Offices

Library Road


CF37 2YA


For the attention of:

Dave Brain Senior Engineer at Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC

Andrew Stone, Land Reclamation & Engineering Manager


19th December 2015


Dear, Sirs.


Ref: Constant Flooding Public Rights of Ways Aberaman to Cwmbach & Violet Street to Aberdare Canal


Following the implementation of the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 (FFR) and the Flood & Water Management Act, 2010 you were aware LLFAs are now responsible for managing the risk of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses. This also involves ordinary watercourse consenting and enforcement. It is your statutory duty to manage drainage on Highways that includes Public Right of Way (PROW).


Following on from my email to you on 22 February 2015 ref above speaking to your RCTC officer on-site at the latest flooding under the Ynys railway bridge it is evident there is a large increase in groundwater levels at this point. His opinion was that the Aberdare Canal should be dredged and it would help the situation, as you are aware your Country Officer proposed the intentions of RCTC when residents and I had a meeting with RCTC officer Kevin Oates at 10 AM Friday 10th October 2014.


David Batten Head of Leisure, Parks & Countryside emailed me on 25 March 2015 Ynys Underpass

“I note your comments.  I am given to understand that the Drainage Engineers are in the process of designing and costing a scheme to alleviate this longstanding problem.”


Under the Freedom of Information Act please can you forward your new proposals for designing a scheme to alleviate this longstanding problem on the PROW and National Cycle Route?


Following on to a further meeting with reference to the above Gareth Henson Countryside Manager John C. Spanswick Green Spaces Manager and 2 rangers. Residents who attended the meeting explained their concerns to the council’s officers and a subcontractor who RCTC employ from his comments on a regular base cleaning out ponds and watercourses. In 2014 you were delaying cleaning out the Aberdare Canal as you were waiting for funding for the work, do you now have sufficient funding now to do the job efficiently? You would be aware this PROW is well used by local residents and cyclists from outside the area.




Local residents and I would like to know what RCTC intend to do to prevent constant flooding of this PROW. 


Public Right of Way Aberaman to Cwmbach


You would be aware flooding on this PROW has increased with the loss of the adjoining floodplain and the large drainage channel employed by the developer to protect the new development but the channel adjoining the PROW is not working to prevent floodwater draining efficiently from the PROW. I am informed there is a back fall in the channel that is not helping drainage in the area.






From the above video taken of the flooded PROW, it shows there is barely a fall from Tirfounder Fields ponds to the invert level of the new drainage channel consequential result little rainfall results in flooding the PROW at its lowest point. A number of local residents feel the new development has contributed to this problem, a tunnel under the PROW that operated to drain the ponds has been stopped from working because of the new development construction of earth bund and filling in and increasing height of what was the floodplain.

I have written to Planning Inspectorate you were aware they were involved and the PROW was discussed in an appeal by Persimmon homes for approval of the Coed Duffryn development to proceed, they advised drainage to the PROW is the responsibility of LPA in this case it is RCTC.

Local residents and I would like to know what RCTC intend to do to prevent constant flooding of this PROW.




RCT Council Response Monday, 18 January 2016

We refer to your Freedom of Information Request below, where you ask for the following:


Forward your new proposals for designing a scheme to alleviate this longstanding problem on the PROW and National Cycle Route.


The Council has installed new pumps within the underpass which are capable of delivering twice the capacity as the previous pumps.  Unfortunately, the system has failed recently due to third-party interference with the connecting pipework, possibly deliberate vandalism.  The system is on the critical inspection list whereby in times of inclement weather it is inspected routinely.  When the aforementioned damage had been repaired the new pumps drained the area within 20-30 minutes.


Yours sincerely


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