Leatherhead puddle 'leaves town looking unloved'
A PERMANENT puddle in Leatherhead town centre is causing consternation among residents.
The pool of water has become a regular feature at the bus stop outside HSBC on Bridge Street in recent months, and locals are calling for the blocked drain causing the problem to be fixed.
Peter Snell, owner of nearby Barton's Bookshop, said: "It's a pain. It's right across the bus stop and right across the driveway outside HSBC. People get splashed by cars coming round the corner, and it's just another example of Leatherhead looking uncared for."
Surrey County Council, which is responsible for the drain, said the problem is caused by a blocked Thames Water sewer beneath the road.
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Leatherhead county councillor Tim Hall said: "I reported it two months ago. It should go into the sewer but it's not draining away. Surrey County Council have contacted Thames Water but they are not co-operating."
Sally Lawson, 74, uses the bus stop to travel from her Dorking home to Leatherhead.
She said: "When we had the terrific downpour after the dry spell, you couldn't use the seats. It was all under water and you had to stand behind the bus shelter.
"They build a nice shelter with seats and you can't use it when it rains very hard."
Mrs Lawson believes people might be put off visiting Leatherhead by the risk of getting drenched. She added: "It stops people coming, especially if they are a bit older. A lot of ladies and fellas are a little infirm in Leatherhead."
A Thames Water spokesman said: "We attended on April 23 and cleared the sewer of silt and debris. We are really sorry for the mess this is causing, and will work hard to get it sorted as soon as we can."
One event that will go ahead whatever the weather is this year's Leatherhead Duck Race on the River Mole.
The event will start near the bridge at the bottom of Bridge Street at 2pm on June 24.
Ducks can be sponsored for £1 on the day or in advance from the duck stall, located in the Swan Shopping Centre every Thursday and Saturday, or in local shops.