Too costly to stop Hunts roads flooding
ROADS will continue to be closed by floods in Huntingdonshire, because remedial work is unaffordable. Floodwater has made the A1123 impassable at Earith for several days and also closed the Great Ouse bridges by the former Samuel Jones mill at Little Paxt
ROADS will continue to be closed by floods in Huntingdonshire, because remedial work is unaffordable.
Floodwater has made the A1123 impassable at Earith for several days and also closed the Great Ouse bridges by the former Samuel Jones mill at Little Paxton and Low Road between St Ives and Fenstanton.
But there is no prospect of the road surface being raised above normal flood levels to keep any of them open, Cambridgeshire County Council said yesterday (Tuesday).
The council believes engineering work to raise the road at Earith, which was still closed yesterday as The Hunts Post went to press, and at Little Paxton would probably cost at least �5million for each project.
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Phillip Crack, CCC's head of major transport infrastructure delivery, said: "By the nature of our geography, some parts of Cambridgeshire are subject to flooding when there is significant rain or snow. While we do all we can to keep roads open, there are some times when, for the safety of road users, routes have to be closed.
"There are currently no plans to raise the height of the roads around Earith, Low Road or the bridges in Little Paxton for, while there have been proposals in the past, each would cost several million pounds to complete.
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"Unfortunately we simply do not have the funds to pay for such schemes within our budget - major proposals like this require funding from a regional pot which is extremely competitive."
Little Paxton resident Martin Pittaway, pictured at Paxton Mill, said: "Since 1986, residing in Little Paxton, working in St. Neots, there hasn't been a year go by when the bridges at the Samuel Jones mill have not flooded. And every year the local councillor complains, the residents of Little Paxton complain, St Neots residents wanting access to the A1 north complain, and yet still nothing gets done.
"The man-hours that are wasted are incalculable. St Neots becomes gridlocked trying to cope with the cars from the Eatons as well as Little Paxton, all trying to get over the river bridge.
"How many more years before something gets done? Now it affects the residents of the Island development and soon the Mill development residents.
"And then of course, with so much water power on hand, you would think we could at least harness that power by building a hydro-electric generator at the bridges instead of some silly wind farm eyesore. At least the income would pay for the work needed to resolve this annual situation."
Mr Pittaway's patience was further strained on Thursday when he was handed a ticket by police for ignoring a "road closed" sign, even though the ground clearance on his car was sufficient to negotiate the floodwater safely.
The signs were not removed until Monday, even though the road had been dry for the previous two days, he said.