Thorney flood issue tackled

The final part of a project to upgrade an existing flood alleviation scheme for the northern part of the village of Thorney on the Somerset Levels will start next week.

Road raising works between Muchelney and Thorney require a four-week closure of the unclassified road and an associated diversion. The road-raising is being delivered by Somerset County Council on behalf of the Environment Agency and forms the final part of the flood defence improvements which have been carried out by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board, also on behalf of the Environment Agency.

Councillor Harvey Siggs, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Any time there is a road closure it causes some disruption, but it cannot be avoided and I’m sure everyone who lives locally will understand just how important these works are.”

John Rowlands from the Environment Agency said: “The work involves raising the road to the same height as the recently raised earth banks that make up the remainder of the scheme.

“Tying the road height into the earth banks will protect 14 local properties. We are grateful to the community and landowners for their patience with the disruption associated with these works.”

The road raising is just part of the scheme led by the Environment Agency and built by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board and their sub-contractor.

Iain Sturdy, Chief Engineer at the Parrett Internal Drainage Board, said: “we are pleased to have been able to deliver this work on behalf of the Environment Agency and that as a result of effective working between the partner organisations more people will now be better protected from flooding.”

The project to date has included:
– Importing 10,000 tonnes clay
– lengthening the crest of the previous banks by approximately 200metres
– 850m of bank improved, all to a new crest height of 9m
– Improvement works to existing, flaps, ditches and culverts.

A separate scheme saw a ring bank built to protect the southern part of Thorney in an Internal Drainage Board-led scheme last autumn as part of the multi-agency Flood Action Plan.

Last month Somerset County reopened the Drayton Road into nearby Muchelney after raising a 500metre stretch of it to prevent the village being cut off during flooding.

Notes to editors
Travelling from the north, the diversion route during the works is through Huish Episcopi, the A372 to Long Sutton, Long Load, Stapleton Cross, Coat, and Kingsbury Episcopi. Details can be found on the Council’s website here