Statement from Mr Mike Ostick (Vice Chair, Upton Business Association)
"Up until 2012, with 70 floods in forty years, Upton upon Severn was dubbed “the most flooded town in England”. With the 2007 floods many traders suffered once more from the cost of flood damage and great losses of business. The town was uninsurable, and the local economy was in potentially terminal decline. Then due to business and community pressure, and with Government support, the flood defence schemes were completed in 2011 [New Street] and 2012 [Waterfront].
"These defences brought a return of business confidence, and ever increasing private investment in our local economy. However the 2014 floods, with an Army shuttle the only access from the north, showed we were not yet resilient enough as a town to continue our economic revival. The closure of the A4104 near Ryall resulted in a near 50% drop of in economic activity. The town needed not only to be dry, but also accessible to the greater Upton area.
"Again with local business pressure, and strong support from local MP Harriett Baldwin, the raising of the A4104 became a reality. This will give us a more flood resilient town with ensured access north to south along the A4104. It enables sustainable community growth, both north and south of the town, giving more local consumers, and further developing the foundations of our local economy.
"Since the flood defences, we have gradually improved our shop occupancy levels significantly above that of the majority of small market towns, and seen a real increase in private investment in developing shops and offices. Better flood security for the A4104 is the final infrastructure development that ensures a basis for growing the local economy, to the benefit of our residents and traders alike."