Leader demands answers over M65 flooding
• Leaves on grids blamed for motorway closure• M65 closed after floodingCoun. Mohammed Iqbal wrote to the Cabinet Member for Highways at Lancashire County Council, Keith Iddon, to discuss the lack of gully cleaning on the M65 which led to dangerous driving conditions and the closure of the motorway and Padiham bypass on Tuesday.Lancashire County Council’s response – that leaves which had collected near new concrete barriers on the motorway had caused the flooding – brought widespread anger from motorists who had been disrupted by the closure.Coun. Iqbal said: “The weather over the last week resulted in the motorway either being closed or severely restricted due to surface water on it. This has caused many people to ask what the county council is doing to alleviate such a dangerous issue.
"I have asked the Cabinet member to come and meet the leaders of Burnley and Pendle as the county council is responsible for this stretch of the M65.
"In the meantime I would ask all drivers to drive according to the weather conditions and take extra care."
County council highways teams have been out in the evenings this week, assisting the emergency services, clearing drains and culverts, and delivering sandbags.A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “At this time of year there are often problems with leaves blown on to the grids covering gullies which prevents drainage and that is what has happened on the M65 and the Padiham Bypass."Highways staff were out last week clearing any debris left on roads or washed into drains, and visited residents to offer advice.