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FLOODING: Businesses count the cost as floods close Abingdon Road
THOUSANDS of pounds of income will be lost because of the floods, businesses in Oxford’s flood-struck Abingdon Road have said.
The road – one of the main routes for many commuters in and out of Oxford – was closed on Monday evening to traffic after flood water rose rapidly for the second time in just over a year.
And there are fears that the road could be shut for the rest of the week.
Businesses have called on the authorities to do more to prevent the situation happening again – including building flood barriers in the area.
Paul Ludlam, manager at National Tyres and Autocare in Abingdon Road, said the floods had forced the business to close yesterday, at a cost of £3,000 a day. If the road is closed for a week, it could cost the business £21,000.
Mr Ludlam said: “The drainage system that they said was going to help this hasn’t worked, but we have had extreme weather.”
He added: “I know from previous experience that this water will not go overnight – this will take about a week to go.”
Eric Randell, after-sales manager for Jewsons Skoda in Abingdon Road, said his department alone would lose £2,000 a day. He said: “I don’t think the flood barriers make much difference to us.”
John Brookes, managing director of Isis Creative Framing in Northampton Road, off Abingdon Road, measured the water rising under his floorboards and found that the water had risen 2cm per hour since Monday.
He estimated his business would lose at least £1,000 per day and said: “Since Abingdon Road was rebuilt and resurfaced two or three years ago, the flooding has got worse.
“The whole thing is a nightmare.”
Mohammad Afzad, owner of the Nisa general store in Abingdon Road, said staff were making deliveries to local customers, but he estimated they were going to lose £2,000 a day.
Abingdon Road residents were protecting their houses with sandbags as floodwater in the road appeared to rise throughout yesterday morning.
Oxford Brookes student Hilary Smith, 23, of Abingdon Road, said: “I wasn’t concerned but now I am.
“I cannot see an end to this.”
Some residents in Peel Place off Weirs Lane, South Oxford, were without water because of the floods. Grandmother-of-five Michelle Smith, 42, said: “I am scared the toilet is going to overflow. We cannot wash because the drains are so full.”
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Our teams continue to work around the clock.”