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FLOODING: Businesses prepare for Oxford's Botley Road to be closed
Two of Tim Bowley’s children Isabella Bowley, 12, front and Lucia Bowley, six, rear, with friend Max Bridson in a dinghy in Abingdon Road
ABINGDON Road was closed again yesterday because of the flooding, for the second time in just over a month. And last night businesses were preparing for Botley Road to close as the authorities said they were monitoring the situation.
Shortly after 4am Oxfordshire County Council closed the south entrance to Abingdon Road as water levels continued to rise.
The road was flooded up to Monmouth Road with further closures expected. Father-of-three Tim Bowley, who lives in Abingdon Road, said the fresh flooding had come as a shock.
He said: “It came up a lot quicker overnight than I’ve seen before.
“We have had water in our garden all week, but over Saturday night it just shot up.”
The 45-year-old said: “I have lived on this road all my life, but this time we just do not know what to expect.”
Oxford City Council had yesterday installed temporary toilets at Fox Crescent and Canning Crescent, off Abingdon Road, as drains were overflowing.
As of last night Botley Road remained open but firms said they were preparing for further flooding. Lee Isaacs, manager of the Oxford Wine Company, said: “We’re going to trade as normal and do the best we can.”
“The flooding does seem to be getting worse, but so long as we can still get in we will be open.”
He said the wine shop saw its sales drop by more than 50 per cent during January’s flooding because customers assumed it was closed after Botley Road had been blocked off.
Mr Isaacs said: “We had a nominal number of customers – only a handful of people. But we did see most of that lost business come back once the road was open again.”
He said he was concerned that he would lose out again this week, adding: “It is a concern. We are very conscious of this because it only happened a few weeks ago.”
Lisa Barlow, a resident of Binsey Lane, off Botley Road, said: “It’s just a big inconvenience.
“You can’t get to work easily, you can’t rely on public transport and the schools are closed. “It just upsets routine and makes it a hassle.”
Last night the Oxford Flood Alliance reissued its call for the West Conveyance Channel which would run from north Oxford to Hinksey. Member John Mastroddi, said: “It would allow all of the floodwater to flow through the city without damaging properties or forcing roads like the Botley Road or Abingdon Road to close.”