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MAPS TO SHOW DRAIN DANGERS

 


11:21 - 28 January 2008

The Environment Agency is planning to draw up maps that show areas where drains are unable to cope with high levels of rainfall.

Currently, the Environment Agency is only required to produce maps showing areas at risk from river flooding.

However, the organisation today confirmed it is in talks with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) about drawing up flooding models that highlight areas where pluvial flooding is a problem, such as Hull.

The extra information is something the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has been calling for since last June when the city was flooded because of inadequate drainage systems.

The Environment Agency said the maps will be used to highlight areas which need increased funding.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "The maps would help the bodies responsible for flooding do something about it.

"It is too early to say when the maps will be produced, we want to ensure they are as accurate and provide as much information as possible, so we do not want to put a timescale on them."

Today, the ABI said insurers would use the information from the maps to help calculate premiums.

Malcolm Tarling, of the ABI, said: "The insurance industries do not want to use these maps as a way of jacking up premiums, but at the same time the industry has to set a premium that reflects the risk they are being asked to cover.

"If the risk gets worse it has to be reflected in the price. However, we have every intention of offering flood insurance to all areas of the country.

"We have called for Government to re-assess the data it collects.

"We want to see all the risks being taken into account and not just areas that are at risk from river flooding.

"Last summer 50 per cent of damage was exaggerated by inadequate drainage systems but until now we have not had any data about drainage in the UK.

"It is important this data is made available to property owners so they can take steps to reduce the risk and lobby Government to improve draining, but before you start to do that you need to have accurate data."

Today residents called on the Government to use the information on the maps positively.

Tony Peterson, 61, of Seaton Road, Hessle, said "I appreciate the information, but I want the Government to do something about it.

"Residents do not want to be living in fear, so if Hull is highlighted on this map it needs to be used as a tool to get something done.

"It's no good these maps being drawn up and not being acted on."

Many residents in East Yorkshire have complained of rising premiums and being shortlisted by insurers following last summer's floods. Last August, the Mail launched its Play Fair campaign, calling on insurance companies to provide reasonable cover for homes across the region.