LONG-awaited plans for a £120m flood alleviation channel have been welcomed by households in Oxford’s worst-hit flooding areas.

Residents have told Environment Agency officers how and when their homes have flooded in the past few years, in the hope of developing a scheme that will keep them dry in the future.

The four-mile channel would run from Seacourt Park and Ride to the River Thames at Sandford Lock and carry overflow water from the Thames around Oxford, reducing the risk of the water flooding city roads.

The design of the channel remains flexible and the agency is asking homeowners their opinions to develop it in the most effective way possible when work begins in 2018.

On Friday it held a drop-in workshop, which was the final of five, at South Oxford Community Centre in Lake Street from 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

John Murrell, 71, who lives in Lincoln Road off Abingdon Road, has struggled with the effects of the flooding over the past year.

He said: “I came along to the meeting because I wanted to find out whether the atrocious flooding in Oxford, and in particular on the Abingdon Road, could be prevented in the foreseeable future.”

After speaking to Environment Agency representatives he added: “I really trust this scheme and I have every faith that it could work.

“The suggested location of the alleviation channel seems ideal. It’s really reassuring they’re taking what the residents think into account.”

The Environment Agency is anticipating that the 50m-wide area around the channel planted with marsh plants would take even more water.

Father-of-two Charles Jacobs, from Monmouth Road off Abingdon Road, said: “In 2014 my home was flooded on several occasions and it was a complete nightmare because we were isolated from everything.

“I think the scheme has the potential to completely remove the threat of flooding and for that reason I fully back it.”

The agency will now compile feedback and publish a report within a few months.

Engagement manager for the scheme, Joanne Emberson-Wines, said of the workshops: “People are absolutely engaged.”