Published: 09:42, 23 June 2021
| Updated: 15:01, 23 June 2021
A family have spoken of the misery of living next to a dual carriageway which regularly floods and sends torrents of water towards their house.
Whenever there is a heavy rain, water pools on the A20 London Road in Aylesford, near the South Aylesford retail park.
The result is traffic queues and sometimes people even have to bump up on the central reservation to avoid the deepest pools.
At the weekend some prankster drew attention to the issue by releasing dozens of yellow rubber ducks to bob up and down in the tidal waves created by the passing traffic.
But however fed up with the flooding motorists are, they are not nearly as exasperated as Tamsin and Mark Tolladay.
They own a house next to the flooded area in Hall Road, which lies on a lower level to the main carriageway.
Whenever the A20 floods the water pours under the fence into their garden and yard, washing up against the brickwork of the house.
Flooding from A20 pours into adjacent home
Mrs Tolladay said: "My mother is 75 and lives in an annexe to our house and it's even worse for her.
"Sometimes the water gushes through and hits her window like a torrent."
She said: "It's been the same story ever since we moved in five years ago.
"It probably floods like this about 10 times a year."
Mrs Tolladay has made innumerable complaints to the highways authority- when she has been able to get through - but nothing had been done.
On one occasion when there was flooding late at night and she feared the water was going to enter her home, she called the KCC emergency number and asked for sandbags. She said: "They said they would be around within four hours, but they never showed up."
She said: "What they are saying now is just wait for the new roundabout they are planning to instal instead of traffic lights at this junction - then it will all be sorted out.
"But there's no set date for that and many of us not convinced a roundabout will work here anyway."
Residents refer to KCC's plan as the Magic Roundabout, because its billed as the solution to all evils - a fantasy they say.
In the meantime, the Tolladays have had years of having their garden topsoil swept away, their garden furniture soaked and water seeping into the brickwork of their home.
Mrs Tolladay said: "When it dries, it leaves a black sludge, which my husband then has to jet-wash away."
Tonbridge and Malling Aylesford South ward councillor Colin Williams said: "I’ve been to see the situation for the Tolladays and when the London Road floods it causes them serious flooding problems, which in my opinion is a heath hazard.
"KCC has been informed many times, but all they do is get a tanker out to suck the gully - until the next rain fall.
"I don’t think it is interested in carrying out any works until they change the traffic junction for a roundabout (which we all call the magic roundabout, because it wont work, and they will have to put the traffic lights back).
Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford said: "It is a nightmare. Every time there is a downpour it floods and yet nothing has been done for decades."
She said: "It has got worse for those who live on the other side of the carriageway and they continue to receive zero help from the council to protect their properties.
"The idea that the 'magic roundabout' is going to solve this problem is a joke."
KCC said that new sustainable drainage works were scheduled to be completed as part of the A20 London Road scheme that included the £3.5m roundabout.
In earlier correspondence with the Tolladays, the authority denied it was negligent, saying the drainage gulleys were maintained on regular basis and that it responded in a timely fashion as necessary to specific complaints of flooding.