Manchester City Council is to invest an extra £1.8m to boost the maintenance of roadside gullies.
Gullies, which drain water off roads, can become blocked by dirt, debris, leaves, tree roots and litter and this can cause roads or pavements to flood. The build-up of debris can also be a hazard to cyclists.
The city-wide clean-up operation will see all 116,000 of Manchester gullies cleared – the first focused programme in eight years, apart from a reactive service, which will continue to operate.
From August, two service providers - Laines Group PLC and Sapphire Utility Solutions – will tackle 58,000 gullies each across all 32 wards across the city and will ensure Manchester’s roads remain clear.
The additional budget has been allocated from the city’s overall, five-year £100m roads revival project.
Backed by extra funding, the council’s programme will see every gully in the city inspected and cleared periodically, with any follow-up repair activity to be carried out where required.
The programme will also incorporate monitoring of silt level build-up over a number of months after cleansing, to provide more comprehensive and up-to-date intelligence, ensuring that more gullies are maintained before they become blocked.
Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “Gullies are something most people don't usually think about, but keeping them clear is vital to keeping our roads in great shape, which is particularly important for both pedestrians and cyclists.
“Manchester residents have said that high quality roads are one of their top priorities, which is why we are seeking to improve every aspect of our highways maintenance service through our £100m investment over the next five years.
“This new programme of work will greatly enhance the condition of our gully network so that they are able to drain surface water away from the road as quickly as required. Monitoring our gullies will help alert us to issues and help us to act quickly before any flooding is caused.
"Flooded roads and pavements can be a real nuisance for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike and this extra funding will help us tackle the issue."