Investments into flood alleviation schemes have helped to keep key Worcestershire roads open during recent flooding.
The rainfall seen last week led to extremely high river levels and surface water flooding across Worcestershire. These levels were similar to those seen nearly a year ago in Feb 2020.
A number of schemes delivered by Worcestershire County Council in recent years have had a positive impact by keeping key routes open; routes that would have otherwise been under water this weekend and last year if the improvements had not been made.
The raising of New Road in Worcester in 2018 meant this main route through the city was kept open to traffic during the most recent flooding and allowed a pedestrian shuttle bus to operate while the road was closed to general traffic during the flooding in February 2020.
New Road would have been completely shut for a number of days on both occasions without the completion of this important scheme. In addition to the raising of the road, included in the works were improvements to better enable a contraflow system to be put into action when flooding is imminent. This has proved to be an important component of keeping this part of the city open during recent, and last years’, extensive flooding.
Another major flood alleviation scheme delivered in recent years is Upton-upon-Severn scheme which saw the raising of over 500 metres of the A4104 between the A38 and the. river bridge
This key road in and out of Upton, would have flooded and been inaccessible last week and last February without the delivery of this scheme in 2019.
In addition to the raising of the road by up to 0.8 metres in some areas, 26 culverts were inserted under the main road. These huge drainage systems have helped to reduce the risk of flooding by allowing water to pass under the road. Previously, there were only five culverts present, all of which were over 100 years old.
Councillor Tony Miller, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We recognise the impact that flooding has on residents and the business community across Worcestershire, most recently seen over the weekend.
“This is why we have worked hard, with partners, to deliver a number of large schemes over the last few years as well as many smaller schemes, all aimed at reducing this impact.
“We also know that there is more to be done. We will therefore continue to work with the Environment Agency and other partners to secure further funding to progress more schemes to alleviate the impact of flooding in the future. More recently, the funding announcement announced for Tenbury is welcomed by all at the County Council.”
Both the New Road and Upton Schemes were part funded by via the Local Growth Fund through the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership. This fund is specifically for projects and schemes that will boost the economy of the county, in the case of these schemes, by keeping key routes open and places accessible during flood events.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Worcestershire LEP invested in both New Road and Upton projects through the Local Growth Fund programme to support the county’s aim to ensure that people and businesses can continue to use crucial routes in the event of bad weather and flooding conditions.
“With these developments the impact of adverse weather has been reduced and we have continued to support the county’s flood defence programme such as with the upcoming Tenbury Wells project. I am pleased that we can make further investment through the Getting Building Fund to support this project and keep another transport route open in Worcestershire. We continue to work with the County Council and Environment Agency to build resilience against these events. ”