I HOPE that you will allow me to make some comments on flooding and the railway line between Oxford and Didcot. This is in the context of a recent briefing I received on the electrification of the line to Oxford, which is scheduled to be complete by 2016.

During the briefing I raised the matter of the flooding which takes place on the line just south of Hinksey Yard. It would appear that some consideration is being given to raising the level of the track to keep it above flood level.

It would seem to me that a much better solution, even if it were more costly, would be to place the track on a steel viaduct supported on pilings, with a track level say about a metre higher than present.

As the track rises both north and south of this point it would not be necessary to raise a large length of track.

It would then be possible to dig out as big an area as needed below the track so that the water could go under it, rather than through it (i.e. through the ballast) or over it as present.

I shall lobby for this lasting and sustainable solution at every opportunity. It could also be the solution for taking the proposed western relief channel from the western side of the track to the eastern, in order to discharge flood water onto the flood plain south of Oxford.

BOB JOHNSTON (Cllr) Kennington and Radley
Oxfordshire County Council