Floods cut off village

PUBLISHED: 09:40 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:18 02 June 2010

No way through

No way through

HEAVY rain has left one village in the Fens cut off on two sides by flooding and a main road elsewhere closed after part of a bank collapsed. Families in Welney are facing long detours after the main A1101 road has become impassable, while officials warn

HEAVY rain has left one village in the Fens cut off on two sides by flooding and a main road elsewhere closed after part of a bank collapsed.

Families in Welney are facing long detours after the main A1101 road has become impassable, while officials warn the road at Forty Foot Bank, between Chatteris and Ramsey, could be closed for months.

Despite a high-profile campaign over the last 18 months, some parents in Welney face 40-mile detours to take their children to school, while businesses in the village claim the closure of the main road from the east and south is crippling trade.

Welney Parish Council chairman, Councillor Ken Goodger, said: "It is quite disappointing. Another year has passed and we are back to square one and nothing has been done.

"The flooding started again on Monday and it is impassable. I think there were around six vehicles which got stuck on Tuesday, and there is about two-feet of water on the road.

"Nothing has been done. So far it has not as bad as last year, but the rainfall could mean it has now started again."

Cllr Goodger,who has lived in the village all his life, said the flooding problems had got increasingly worse over the last decade. Welney residents believe the only way to cure the problem is to raise the A1101.

South-West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser said he had recently met the Environment Agency to find a suitable solution.

He said: "Work on Denver Sluice was expected to ease the flow of water and so reduce incidents of flooding and I have asked for a progress report.

"We cannot go on like this, and I am determined that residents of the Norfolk fens should not be expected to just put up with the disruption. Like other parts of the country, we urgently need investment in flood relief measures."

Nigel Woonton flood risk management project manager at the Environment Agency, said the organisation was looking at ways to resolve the problem, but warned there was no quick-fix solution.

He said that consultants were currently carrying out a study of the tidal river and as part of this they were producing an interim report on the impact at Welney. This report is expected to be published in a few weeks' time.

Motorists are also facing chaos following the closure of the Forty Foot Bank Road. Engineers are now working round the clock to get it reopened.

Mark Kemp, director of highway access for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We are working hard to investigate how this happened and to get the bank repaired as soon as possible, but we expect this could take weeks or months.

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