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Cleaning gullies in Central Bedfordshire

What is a highway gully?

A highway gully is a large pot in the ground covered by a metal grid and is usually found at the edge of a road. Rain water flows off the road surface into these gullies and then through underground pipes, sewer systems, soakaways, catchpits or roadside ditches, and on occasion directly into watercourses. The majority of gullies are connected to public sewers that carry both foul and surface water.

Who is responsible for gullies?

We are responsible for cleaning around 45,000 gullies on the public highways.

Gullies and drainage on private roads, parking areas or non-council maintained land are the responsibility of the land owner.

Anglian Water has responsibility for shared sewers and they can be contacted on 03457 145 145.

Cyclic gully cleaning

Our Highways team need to maintain around 45,000 gullies and all gullies are currently cleaned on a three year cyclic programme with gullies located along A&B classified roads, as well as those in know flood prone locations being cleaned at a more regular frequency.

The gully cleaning programme may be subject to change and is largely dependent upon weather conditions or other circumstances. 

How we clean gullies

As part of our programme, we have brought in a new gully motor; better known as the Super-Vac. Unlike the normal gully motor, the Super-Vac has a more powerful jetting pressure, allowing it to unblock even the toughest of clogged drains in just a couple of minutes. In most circumstances, the Super-Vac can unblock gullies which would usually require two people to dig out, which means the new machine not only saves us time, but is also cost effective. As well unblocking the drains, our teams also fully clean the gully, check the condition of the gully covers, unblock leaves and debris from the gully pot and check that it drains properly.

Reactive work

As well as the cyclic programme of works we have teams on hand who deal primarily with gully reports. To report an issue with a highways gully please create a report via our website.

Report a problem on the road or pavement