Pledge to maintain Oxford's flood defences

The temporary defences used at Botley Road during flooding in February

The temporary defences used at Botley Road during flooding in February

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

TEMPORARY flood defences in Oxford will still be improved while work to construct a major flood relief channel is ongoing, it has been pledged.

Oxfordshire County Council deputy leader Rodney Rose said efforts are being made to tackle flooding until the channel scheme finishes in 2022.

The £123m Western Conveyance channel will take flood water around Oxford from Botley to Sandford lock and work could start by 2016.

During the floods early this year, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service kept Botley Road and Abingdon Road open with temporary flood barriers made from lengths of hose filled with water.

This was the first time this method had been used and was considered so innovative that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles came to see the defences in action.

Conservative Mr Rose said: “We are still exploring putting in some more permanent versions of the defences we had with fire engines in Botley Road and Abingdon Road.

“I hope we don’t stop remembering what the fire service and others did last winter. Whether we would use exactly that method again would depend on the type of flooding and the rainfall.”

Mr Rose added: “I am looking into whether we can get some more permanent pumps in place because you have to ask whether we are lessening our fire cover by using this method.

“Anything we can do we will certainly be looking at doing. I think people will hope we do some interim measures for the six to eight years it will take to get the Western Conveyance finished. People will feel let down if they get flooded in five years’ time knowing that the channel is only a year away.”

A report on last winter’s flooding put together by the Environment Agency says that the rainfall during this period was “exceptional”.

It says that 350mm of rain fell on Oxfordshire compared with a long-term winter average of 170mm.

River levels at Osney Lock reached 3.86m in January, compared with 3.99m in the 2007 floods.

Environment Agency spokeswoman Jo Slimin said: “Following last winter’s floods we have been working with communities and professional partners in Oxfordshire to find ways of reducing the risks of flooding to people, businesses and the environment.

“In Oxford the plans for a new flood relief channel and works at Abingdon are progressing well. These will reduce the risk of flooding to hundreds of homes.

“We have an ongoing annual maintenance programme for watercourses in the county, which includes the selective removal of annual weed growth, major blockage removal and some removal of localised accumulations of silt.”

She added: “We will also be removing some of the larger accumulations of gravels that have built up in some locations as a result of the flooding. This includes work on the Minns Farm Drain, River Thames at Wolvercote, Seacourt Stream, Botley Stream, Osney Ditch, Bulstake Stream, Hinksey Drain, Boundary Brook and the River Thames at Osney.

“We are currently prioritising the removal of fallen trees and large blockages of watercourses in and around the Oxford area. For example, in the next couple of weeks one of our field teams will be out removing a timber landing stage that was washed downstream on the Bullstake Stream in Oxford.”

 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

City council tenants less than happy, says new survey

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 26th January 2015

CITY council tenants’ satisfaction with their homes has plummeted over the past year.

One lane of London Road closed after manhole collapses

Oxford Mail: london rd alert

1:59pm Monday 26th January 2015

ONE lane of the London Road, Headington, has been closed after a manhole collapsed.

Relief for owners as missing cat is found 200 miles away from home

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 26th January 2015

AN INTREPID missing cat has been found in Bicester, 200 miles from its home.

New Leys leisure complex proves to be a big hit

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 26th January 2015

MORE than 12,000 people turned out for the official opening of the £9m Leys Pools and Leisure Centre at the weekend when fees were waived.

Universal free meals set to cost Oxfordshire schools £450,000

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 26th January 2015

SCHOOLS in Oxfordshire are set to lose out on nearly £450,000 in extra funding.

New units aim to take strain off struggling A&E workers

Oxford Mail: The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

6:30am Monday 26th January 2015

MORE hospital assessment units look set to be set up to take pressure off struggling A&E departments.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree