ANNUAL gulley-cleaning looks likely to resume in more than 50 York streets, as city leaders try to reduce the risk of flooding.

Hundreds of others that currently receive no treatment will also be checked and cleaned if necessary, although only once every eight years.

Roads on York's gritting routes have their gullies cleaned once a year, but those in other roads are cleaned only if someone reports a particular problem.

Many drains across the city have repeatedly been overwhelmed during heavy rain in recent years, and City of York Council has acknowledged that decades of under-investment and neglect have left the drainage network unable to cope.

There have been numerous instances of flooding due to a build up of surface water, most notably in 2007 but also more recently in August 2014 and again in August 2015.

This was the scene in Clifton Green in August 2014:

Andrew Waller, the council's environment boss, called last August for new investigations after many drains were again overwhelmed during torrential downpours.

The council is investigating 75 locations where there have repeatedly been problems, and the authority's flood risk and asset manager, Steve Wragg, has also identified 53 streets to add to the gulley-cleaning schedule. They are streets where there are properties with a "one in 30 year" risk of surface water flooding.

The full list will be published before Cllr Waller considers the report at a meeting next Monday (March 7), but The Press understands it includes Nunthorpe Road in South Bank and several of the streets around Danebury Drive in Acomb.

Cllr Waller invited residents and councillors to view this list of the 75 investigation sites, and to contact the council if they could provide useful information about the causes of the problems at any location.

Cllr Waller said the proposed new system would mean all gullies were checked over time and said there would be a list of 'hotspot' problem areas that needed investigated and fixed.

He said an extra £125,000 was being spent next year on resolving flooding issued, and said people could continue to proactively report any problems they saw.

York Press:

Blocked drains in Holgate Road last summer. They have since been cleared

He said the new report would begin a reversal of cuts to the gulley-cleaning service in 2012.

He said: "We will be using information to target those areas with recurring problems, and adding an extra 1,200 gulleys to the annual programme in streets where surface water drainage could be an issue.

"A new record-keeping system will report back on the performance of the council in tackling this issue, and detailing those gulleys where there are repeated calls for clearing which indicate a problem needing investigation."

Cllr Waller said the council would work closely with the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and drainage boards and promised improved links between council teams, to speed up the removal of drain blockages, such as accumulated leaves.