A BUSINESS owner is calling for a "permanent solution" to the regular flooding on College Street which he says has had a detrimental impact on his firm.

The area of College Street near Gerards Bridge was submerged in water as heavy downpours in June saw the nearby brook flood, leading to a road closure.

The area, one of the main arteries in and out of St Helens town centre, has been a flooding hotspot.

The owner of Stone Tyres says the issue hits his business, despite still being open as people avoid the area and think that the premises has closed.

"It is like the shutters are closed when the road is flooded," said owner John.

"We normally do 60 or 70 tyres a day and that week we did 72, that's 90 per cent of the business gone.

"It lost £19,000 in a week, it's crippling me.

"I would like to see a permanent solution for it but as a temporary solution they could hire drainage tankers and remove the excess water."

John added: "I know it would cost money but it's an arterial route into the town centre, you've got 30-odd individual businesses here.

"I feel the council has a duty to look after local businesses."

A joint-statement from The Environment Agency and St Helens Council said: “College Street is well known to both the Environment Agency and St Helens Council as a site that tends to flood frequently. The risk there is due to the road being low and the re-routing of the Sankey into the old canal course.

"As a result, river flows don’t always need to be high for water to flow out to College Street, from the river itself, or via the surface water drainage in the area becoming backed up from the main river.

“Critically, when this does happen, there is no immediate risk or impact to nearby properties. Both the Environment Agency and St Helens must prioritise our work on rivers so that it reduces flood risk for people, homes and businesses. Funding is limited and we therefore have to focus our resources where they’re most needed. However, we are conscious of the inconvenience and disruption that can be caused due to the flooding in this area.

“In recent years, St Helens Council has conducted desilting works in the area and the Environment Agency has undertaken channel clearance that has improved the situation.

"The council and the EA will be working together over the next 12 months to carry out similar works to improve river flows which will hopefully alleviate some of the problems

“The Environment Agency and St Helens Council are supporting communities that do not have permanent flood defences and remain at risk of flooding.

"We are doing this in many ways, from forecasting potential flood risk and warning communities, to increasing our capability to deploy temporary flood assets such as temporary flood barriers or mobile high volume pumps.

"We work in partnership to get the best value for money from government funding and we will continue to look at every viable option possible in regards to College Street.”