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Time to wade through crisis to plug gap in flood defence
8:30am Monday 13th January 2014 in News
NOW the flood waters have started to subside, people in Oxford will begin to count the cost of the latest deluge to hit the city.
It was a tale of two major routes yesterday with the Botley Road reopened but Abingdon Road staying closed for the time being.
City council leader Bob Price says the latest wave of floods has cost the city a small fortune in lost trade while the county council cannot yet say how much it has had to invest in coping with the floods and the subsequent clean-up operation.
While residents, businesses and commuters have coped well with adversity, an investigation needs to begin in earnest in how best to prevent two of the city’s major routes flooding at the same time.
If funding is not available for the flood relief channel that environmental experts say is required, then civic leaders may, in the short term, be sensible to accept something less ambitious.
It’s quite clear such major floods are not just a one-off – scenes of neighbours paddling up the Abingdon Road have become all too familiar.
The floods this past week have caused utter chaos and have given businesses and residents the worst possible start to the new year.
But if better flood defences were in place it could be a different story.
These major incidents are no longer a once-in-a-century occurrence – they are happening on a regular basis.
Prime Minister David Cameron insisted last week investment in flood defences is not diminishing and now is the right time for council leaders in Oxford to lobby for cash for flood alleviation measures.
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