May 22 2013 Latest news:
By John Elworthy
Thursday, March 21, 2013
AN MP and an MEP together with Environment Agency officials and councillors meet tomorrow to consider action to prevent the A1101 from being repeatedly closed because of flooding at Welney.
The meeting at Welney parish hall has been called by Elizabeth Truss, the MP for South West Norfolk and those attending will be looking for both short term and longer term solutions.
A spokesman for the MP said today that in the short term there was “encouraging news” of funds being made available to introduce better signage warning motorists of when the Welney Washes are closed.
“The closure signs can sometimes be up for ages, even when the road has re-opened,” said the spokesman. “Part of the solution in the short term might be the introduction of dot matrix signs and the parish council has funding secured for at least two of these.”
Also joining the talks tomorrow will be Vicky Ford, Conservative Euro MEP for the East, and Ms Truss is hopeful European funding might be appropriate for a longer term solution.
“The meeting has been called to get people together to look at possible ways forward,” said the spokesman.
Earlier this year Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs, announced a Parliamentary campaign to get a new causeway built across Welney Washes.
In recent months the road through Welney has been closed for 46 days and with water levels rising the omens look less than promising for the coming week.
The MP tabled a series of questions to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, asking about the cost of closure, the cost of a new road over the Washes, the cost of improved flood defence measures and the frequency of closures in recent years.
Mr Barclay says that although Welney is not part of his constituency he is a regular user of the road through to Littleport which is part of his patch.
He won’t be at the meeting tomorrow since “Liz is rightly leading on this as her constituency but I am happy to continue to offer my support”.