Buckinghamshire Council has allocated an extra £500,000 for the cleaning and repair of gullies and the upkeep of roadside drainage systems.

This is part of an initiative to ensure the region is prepared against bouts of heavy rainfall and possible flooding.

The council had already committed £110m over four years from its budget to attend to repairs on the highways where the priority shall lie on a selection of high-risk areas.

The past winter and spring saw the highest levels of rainfall in over two centuries, causing flooding and associated issues across Buckinghamshire.

In response to this, the council has decided to use the new funding for the cleaning of high-priority gullies in addition to the regular planned maintenance.

The aim is to optimise the gullies' condition in order to cope with sudden or prolonged heavy rainfall.

Measures such as constructing new ditches and grips to clear water from the roads will be undertaken in problem-prone areas.

Also, damaged drainage systems will be worked upon to enhance the flow of water.

Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, Peter Martin, explained the situation, saying: "As we know, it has been a very wet winter and the excessive amounts of rain have caused issues for many of our communities as drainage systems struggled to deal with volumes of water rarely seen in Buckinghamshire.

"While dealing with sewers and mains water pipes remains the responsibility of water companies, as a council we need to ensure that roads are clear of standing water wherever possible.

"Clearing gullies and ditches of leaves and debris and making repairs where needed allows the water to drain away more quickly and helps to prevent some flooding."

Over the last four years, Buckinghamshire Council has made allocations for the cleaning of all 85,000 gullies across the county to reduce flood damage as part of a regular schedule.

This will be the fourth year of such efforts, with repairs being made when needed which keeps the gullies working at peak efficiency.

Mr Martin further added: "We will be visiting every highway gully across our roads network and cleaning and making repairs as needed – residents can help by paying attention to any signs put up on their road to give advance notice of gully cleansing and making sure that vehicles are moved so as not to block our crews from getting access to gullies.

"By taking this additional action now we hope we can better prepare ourselves for the future."