SOMEWHERE, somehow the people living off North Hinksey Lane got the idea Thames Water was going to put in a relief road as part of the work on its flood alleviation scheme.

Thames Water vehemently denies it ‘promised’ such a plan but the villagers said they took the strong impression away from a meeting late last year.

Thames Water needs to do this work. There is no dispute about that and, by its very nature, it will be disruptive.

There is also the fact this scheme is ultimately for the benefit of the villagers and others in the area.

Yet Thames Water is now cast as the villain.

The villagers believe they have been let down, while the company says it only ever promised to do its best to keep disruption to a minimum.

The truth probably falls somewhere in the middle in that a relief road was raised as a possibility but discounted by the company.

That, for practical reasons, may be the right decision, but where the company has fallen down is not ensuring people were contacted recently and made fully aware of what was going to happen.