THE delay in implementing the £1m flood alleviation scheme for south Oxford is unacceptable and Network Rail must heed calls to remove any impediment to its completion.

Five landowners have agreed to release land to Network Rail so that the scheme may progress, yet so far the organisation has not taken that on.

It is said this scheme, had these delays not thwarted it being in place, would have averted or at least mitigated the floods parts of this city suffered in November and last month.

Network Rail could probably spin a convincing explanation as to its issues.

But the organisation – a statutory corporation and not a conventional commercial company – has a responsibility to the community and must act now.

If homeowners are hit by flooding again this winter, we challenge Network Rail’s chief executive to come and explain why the scheme is still not in place.