VILLAGERS in rural Oxfordshire yesterday said road closures in place were either being ignored or were no longer necessary.

Debbie Maddock, 45, of Abingdon Road, Culham, said residents, police and councils were all frustrated by motorists flouting road closed signs, causing water to flow towards their homes.

She said: “They don’t care about their cars.

“When people drive through it makes a tidal wave which hits the house. I could stand here and cry at times.

“This morning someone took the barrier down and about 20 people came through. I only managed to make two of them turn back.”

She said: “Police are fining people but that’s more in Oxford.”

A builder working on the house who did not want to be named said he had watched as one van driver tried to drive around the blockade, only to end up with his van in a ditch, and had to be towed away.

Thames Valley Police said that anyone ignoring a road closure could face an on-the-spot fine but that cases were being dealt with on an individual basis.

Spokeswoman Lucy Billen said: “If you are told by a police officer a road is closed and drive through anyway, we could fine you for disobeying the law.”

Liam Carberry, landlord of the Plough in Long Wittenham, said a road closure sign at the entrance to the village, which yesterday was mostly free of floods, was in the wrong place and meant no-one was visiting the pub.

Speaking in the empty pub yesterday lunchtime, Mr Carberry, 29, said: “In the last week it has really hit hard. I would normally have 10 people at this time.

“The sign is in the wrong place, it should be further up.

“It was chucked in the ditch twice but it just gets put back up.”

And in Grove, a field earmarked for up to 900 new homes was largely underwater, prompting questions about where the water would go once the new houses were built.

County councillor for Grove and village resident Zoe Patrick said: “Everybody is worried looking at that water in that field.

You are going to have to deal with a massive amount of water on there and rightfully residents are concerned about it.”

Developers Gallagher Estates and Gleeson Homes have previously acknowledged the site is “within an area at risk of flooding” but pointed out the Environment Agency had no objections on flood risk grounds.