More on the work in progress at Munday’s bridge

It looks as if good progress is being made. We’re told the wooden posts will be removed, towards the end of the work.

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Maintenance – site visit to junction of Hinksey Stream and Hinksey Drain

Four of us met this afternoon to inspect this important area. Hinksey Stream and Hinksey Drain are designated Main Rivers: the visit today was to the point, south of South Hinksey, at which the Stream goes under the mainline railway and the Drain diverges from it.

As mentioned on our Home Page we are determined that maintenance of the waterways is properly planned for and given high priority, so everything works as well as possible. We want to see riparian owners fulfilling their legal responsibilities to keep waterways clear. We have for years been agitating that this particular area receive attention as it is in an appallingly poor state.

Today’s meeting took this an important step further on. Present were Peter Collins, Environment Agency, Steve Smith, engineer from Oxford City, and Adrian Porter and Peter Rawcliffe from OFA. There was unanimous agreement that extensive clearance of this area is needed as soon as possible. Steve Smith will be checking on the ownership – once this is certain, Peter Collins will work with whoever it is (seems likely to be Oxford City or Network Rail) and the tenant farmer of the adjacent field, to start clearance asap (subject to bird nesting).

These photos can only give an idea of just how very badly looked after this vital area is. We thank Steve and Peter for taking this on and will be supporting them if any difficulties arise.

 

2 Oxford FAS meetings

IMG_6013cropfloodplain2008

Oxford floodplain in 2008, a little water in the fields

27 October 2014
Two meetings.
First: we are represented on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (Oxford FAS) (‘the Scheme’) Sponsorship Group – the committee backing these proposals. A few points:
•    There is a long, rigorous assessment procedure to be gone through; it’s up to timetable.
•    The economic case stacks up.
•    The Scheme cannot risk making things worse downstream: this is key and must be established.  [FWIW our view has long been that a successful scheme must keep water moving, getting it away earlier and not allowing it to build up enough to flood roads and buildings. But this will not send MORE water downstream, it doesn’t ‘generate new water’, it will only alter the time course. (Note that our flood plain will still flood, just not quite so deep.) That seems to make sense, but more rigorous evidence will rightly be required re any possible downstream effects.]
•    The Scheme will enhance the natural environment.
•    Public access will be better (cycle paths, footpaths).
•    Climate change projections, if they come to pass, would make things very much worse than now, making the Scheme in our view even more imperative.
•    The Scheme will have as an integral part measures (such as property-level protection) to help local areas/properties that are not ‘saved’ by the removal of existing pinch-points and the more efficient water flow in a redesigned watercourse. (NB that is not a guarantee that every property will be protected.)

Our support for the Scheme is now stronger than ever. But we know others have doubts or other ideas – if you want to discuss these please do come to our APM on November 13th (see below, 16 Oct). We will be there (of course!) and so will the EA.

Second: three of us met with Richard Harding of the EA Project Team for the Scheme. John Mastroddi (of OFA) presented the data from his own observations during the 2013/14 floods: these show that, as in the 1947 and other floods, that there is a 60cm difference in flood levels across the railway near Kennington. This is therefore the serious pinch-point and overcoming it is essential. John also presented his novel ideas about what might be done at Sandford-on-Thames as part of the Scheme: his ideas will now be considered during the assessment process.

Work begins at Munday’s

8 April 2013

Work has now begun to improve Munday’s bridge, Kennington. It has been a very long wait (see 9 March) but well worth waiting for. We have been critical of Thames Water recently, over sewer flooding in various parts of Oxford, but on Munday’s we owe them a big thank you, as their work will help not only in Kennington but in the west Oxford flood plain generally. Especial thanks too to the residents who are having to put up with months of work, including pile-driving at night.

Munday’s bridge under the railway at Kennington

9 March 2013

We have been urging that this serious bottleneck near Redbridge be sorted out since 2007. Improvements were made in 2009, but more was needed.

Now there is a multi-partner project between Thames Water, Network Rail, Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council to make further improvements. Delays due to legal issues have now been resolved, thanks to help from Oxford’s two MPs, Nicola Blackwood and Andrew Smith. We hope work will now start in early April, but as things are now almost a year late we will only be sure when it actually begins. Nevertheless, action is in sight, and will help reduce the flood risk for many people.

Munday’s bridge, 22 Sept 2012

22 September 2012

Thames Water is about to begin work to sort out the area of Munday’s bridge under the railway in Kennington. As well as dealing with local flooding in Kennington, the work will allow the whole western floodplain to drain better, to the benefit of all in our area upstream. All credit, and thanks, to Thames Water for doing this substantial and important work. See http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/9883845.Flood_prevention_scheme_goes_on_show/

We have been concerned about this area since we formed in 2007. That concern arose from the special local knowledge of John Mastroddi, a founder member of OFA’s Steering Group, who had been concerned for many years before that. His garden backs onto the site, although his house has never flooded. The local flooded community owes a debt to John and his wife, and their neighbours, for the sacrifices they are making so this work can be done: see our recent letter to the Oxford Times:
http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/forum/letters/9928463.Sacrifices_to_save_flood_misery/

Munday’s bridge, December 2011

15 December 2011

Progress after years of trying! Thames Water have a project to improve flood water drainage off the Kennington Road and this will include extensive work at Munday’s to ensure that water can then get away from the area. This is extremely good news, as Munday’s is a severe pinchpoint holding water back in the floodplain west of the railway. Thames Water hope to start work in the spring.

The three pinchpoints

01 February 2010

The three pinchpoints we targeted at Redbridge have now been dealt with. Last to go, the level crossing bridge which was obstructing the Main River at Redbridge known as Hinksey Drain (see here), has now been completely removed by Network Rail.

More work still needs to be done at Munday’s. In the much longer term a way may need to be found to get water under the railway even more effectively.