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£1M boost for York flood defences

New flood defences for the Water End area of the city of York are to benefit from almost £1M worth of extra improvements. Environment Agency (EA) contractors will now be able to raise the level of Landing Lane, adjoining the River Ouse, removing the need to install temporary barriers across the road requiring manual operation in the event of a flood.

The River Ouse in York regularly bursts its banks. Image: John Giles/PA WireThe River Ouse in York regularly bursts its banks. Image: John Giles/PA Wire

Project manager Helen Tattersdale said: “We are delighted planning consent has been granted for this significant improvement to the Water End scheme. Work at Landing Lane is just starting and should be finished early next summer.”

Meanwhile, work on the original phase of work at Water End is progressing well, with many elements already finished or nearing completion. The £4.2M programme, with a £1M contribution from City of York Council, will reduce flood risk to almost 400 homes and businesses.

At Cinder Lane, building work on new defences is now complete. A new, raised embankment on the James Ashton Playing Field to the rear of Swinerton Avenue and St Barnabas School will be finished by the end of December, although temporary fences will need to remain in place until new grass is established.

Two-thirds of a new brick-clad flood wall on a 300m stretch of Water End, are also complete. Landing Lane has been reduced to one lane while work is in progress, but disruption will be kept to a minimum.

Councillor Dave Merrett, City of York Council’s cabinet member for Transport, Planning & Sustainability, said: “This is a welcome announcement. This scheme of work will help to greatly reduce the risk of a recurrence of the pre-1982 floods or of the leakages we saw during 2012 in the Water End area of the city.”

The improvements to the York scheme come as the EA stages a month-long awareness campaign, asking people what they would most hate to lose in the event of a flood. The agency says more than five million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, and this figure is predicted to increase with a changing climate. 

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