FLOODING: Traders lose revenue as Abingdon Road closure goes on

Oxford Mail: An almost deserted Abingdon Road yesterday An almost deserted Abingdon Road yesterday

BUSINESSES and residents in the Abingdon Road remain concerned about the threat of more bad weather this week.

More rain is expected today and businesses that have already lost thousands of pounds are waiting to see what will happen next.

Nisa shop owner Mohammad Afzal said he lost about £10,000 when the road was closed because of flooding last month and estimated he lost £2,000 on Monday alone.

He told the Oxford Mail: “I am relieved it has gone down.

“We had a delivery today. The driver made it, which is a relief.”

He suggested that a barrier could help with the flood problem and added: “We are concerned because people are scared the water might go into their homes. If we can save Botley Road, why can’t we save Abingdon Road?

“I think keeping the road closed all week is too much.”

The water levels dropped overnight on Monday to the relief of many.

John Brooks, managing director of Isis Creative Framing in Northampton Road off Abingdon Road, said: “It has gone down a huge amount.

“But we are sitting on 49,000 litres of water. It is just below the floorboards.

“It is depressing for business owners and residents. It is just relentless.

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“It is frustrating when for the last 20 years everyone has been talking about the effects of global warming and in those 20 years people stopped dredging the rivers.”

Abingdon Road resident Katy Hamilton was forced to move her car from her driveway on Sunday because of rapidly rising water.

She moved her car at about 5.30am to Redbridge Park and Ride, owned by Oxford City Council and just metres from her home.

But she says she was unable to pay as her mobile phone was out of battery and the machine did not accept her money.

Later that day, she was issued with a £100 fine, but the city council promised to refund it after the Oxford Mail intervened. Ms Hamilton, who has since paid the early fine of £50, said: “I am really pleased.”

But residents who have lived in South Oxford for many years are worried that it happens more often now than it used to. Grandmother-of-seven Yvonne Bayliss, 80, of Abingdon Road, said: “I am a bit concerned. They say we are going to get more rain.”

Grandfather Arthur Shefford, of Abingdon Road, said: “The flood water has gone down. It is not as bad as it was last time.”

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