Temporary flood plan to keep Oxford roads open

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service tested the two new pipes today which were funded by Oxfordshire County Council and put in by Oxford City Council.  Under the new scheme, water can be pumped from Bullstake Close under Botley Road to Lamarsh Road and onto St George’s Field without disrupting traffic on Botley Road.

The overall aim of the scheme is to keep Oxford’s roads open for as long as possible during severe weather to enable people to get to and from work, children to get to school, students to get to university and college and to allow businesses to stay open.

The plan involves targeting key areas prone to flooding such as Botley Road, Abingdon Road, Binsey and South Hinksey Village.

Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council Rodney Rose said: “This is an interim plan to keep the road infrastructure open as long as physically possible during severe weather.

“We have developed the plan having learned from flooding in previous years. We will begin by using a high volume pump to keep the Abingdon Road open by pumping the water onto nearby land and into the Thames.

“In Botley Road we have actually inserted two six inch pipes under the road so we can pump the water onto the flood plain and into the river. In Binsey and South Hinksey we will be using pumps to get the water off the roads and back onto the adjoining land.

“We are doing this in a particular order to ensure we don’t cause problems elsewhere in the city and surrounding area.

“All the agencies involved will be working and sharing equipment to keep Oxfordshire PLC open for business, allowing large and small companies to thrive and relocate to Oxford with confidence.

“Significant flooding forecasts have greatly improved and river levels are monitored electronically so this plan will be put into place when flooding is forecast.

“We can’t guarantee that these roads will never flood again as no one knows what mother nature might throw at us but there is now a much greater chance of the roads staying open.”

Pictured left to right: Chris Brown (Highways, Oxfordshire County Council), Mat Carlile (Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service), Cllr Rodney Rose (Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council), Gordon Hunt (Highways, Oxfordshire County Council)