£1m study plan for Welney road

Latest traffic news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Latest traffic news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Have your say

A feasibility study is to take place to examine plans to raise a road that is regularly closed for weeks at a time by winter flooding.

Funding has been secured to assess the scheme for the A1101 Welney Wash road, which officials estimate will cost more than £1 million to complete.

And the announcement has been welcomed by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss.

She said: “I fully understand that there are a number of factors to consider in any scheme to raise the causeway but the ongoing uncertainty is not helpful to anyone.

“A housing association in Welney is questioning whether future investment in the village should go ahead, with the closure of the causeway cited as one of the issues.

“Both businesses and the local community need to be able to plan for the future and although raising the road will not completely solve the problem, this is a significant step in the right direction and action needs to be taken as soon as possible.”

The road is closed so often because it runs across the Ouse Washes flood storage reservoir – which is part of a national flood management network – and is regularly left submerged following bad weather.

When necessary, water is released from the River Great Ouse in the Bedford area so that it can be discharged into the sea at The Wash, forcing drivers to take detours of up to 20 miles.

The route was closed for almost two months earlier this year because of the amount of rain that fell during a series of severe winter storms.

Officials estimate that raising the level of the road will reduce the number of days the route is closed for due to flooding by up to 50 per cent.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said it was likely that the study would begin towards the end of the current financial year next spring, once the Environment Agency has completed studies for a new water model for the area.

But North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay says the work on the scheme should begin sooner rather than later.

He said: “Residents feel huge frustration at the increasing number of days that the A1101 at Welney is closed or diverted.

“As someone who uses that route on a frequent basis, I share this frustration and have again raised my concerns with Norfolk County Council (NCC), the lead authority responsible for the Wash road, over the slow rate of progress on a number of occasions.

“I now want to see NCC complete the feasibility study into works on the road as soon as possible so we can see movement on this scheme.”