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Council invests £1m in new gully emptying machinery to help prevent flooding

Wiltshire Council is investing an extra £333,000 each year until 2024/25 to empty gullies and help prevent flooding in the county.

Published 24 February 2023
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Wiltshire Council is investing an extra £333,000 each year until 2024/25 to empty gullies and help prevent flooding in the county.

The investment, which is in addition to the £1.27m the council spends annually on emptying gullies, is being spent on an extra combination jet vacuum unit that allows the council's highways teams to focus on problem areas throughout the county that are at most risk of flooding.

The council currently uses three gully tankers that empty gullies on main roads each year, and those on all other roads once every three years. The new tanker that is being used thanks to this extra funding features a high-powered jetting facility that can blast through thick layers of silt and debris.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: Flooding on our highways can create dangerous driving conditions and cause localised issues, and that's why we're investing this extra £1m over three years to tackle problems when they occur.

We are responsible for more than 4,000km of road and over 85,000 gullies throughout the county, and so we usually focus on main roads and empty these gullies once a year, with other gullies cleared and emptied every three years.

One of our Business Plan objectives is to have well-connected communities, and this extra powerful jet machinery is helping us to tackle difficult areas and keep Wiltshire moving, which is particularly important given the wet winter we've had.

We're already putting this new kit to good use, with more than 1,000 extra gullies emptied and 120 tonnes of debris removed since October 2022 - and this important work is currently funded to continue until the end of March 2025.

If people see flooding or blocked gullies on our highways, they can report it using our MyWilts system, through our app, on our website or by giving our customers services team a call.

To report flooding or block gullies, people can go to or call 0300 456 0100.

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