Saturday, July 19, 2014
Work to improve a major flooding hotspot in Wymondham could be carried out within a year if suggested fixes are given the seal of approval.
An investigation into why the town’s railway bridge floods during bad weather said the amount of rainfall was often “greater than the existing capacity of the existing highway drainage system”.
Drainage water from the area flows into the River Tiffey - but in times of heavy rainfall, when the river rises, there is nowhere for the surface water to go.
That often leaves the road impassable, with several incidents this year where motorists have got stuck in the underpass due to fast-rising water levels.
Norfolk County Council has recommended increasing the size of the pipe to reduce the risk of blockage caused by a build-up of silt in the river.
Alternatively, officers have suggested creating a new one which takes water above the river level, again so blockages become less likely.
The Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board - the regulatory authority for the River Tiffey - is currently reviewing the options and consulting with other organisations, including the Environment Agency, to assess the impact on other waterways.
It will report back on viability in September - but if the result is positive, the council says work could be carried out within the year.
The authority also says it will put signage in the area immediately to warn drivers the road is liable to flooding.
Wymondham mayor Colin Foulger said: “We know that the current drainage system at this point on Station Road isn’t fit for purpose and needs to be changed.
“We also know this isn’t a case of minor maintenance and that a significant project to secure a long-term solution is needed.
“This report has proposed a number of practical recommendations and options that can help road users in the short term and others which would solve the problem over the long term.
“However, as with all flood relief proposals, they need to be carefully assessed, to make sure we all know and understand whether the work will have an impact on the wider water management network.
“In short, before we go ahead with doing anything, we must be sure that in solving the problem here, we don’t simply move it elsewhere.”
Mr Foulger said he felt confident there is “both the organisation and the ideas for resolving this problem sooner rather than later, so that the inconvenience and frustration that everyone feels over this matter can come to an end as soon as possible”.
Another big concern amongst residents is whether the problems will get worse as and when new homes are being in the surrounding area.
The council has said it will work with the developers of the South Wymondham growth area to agree a developer-funded scheme, with the aim of carrying out infrastructure works before the development starts.
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