Welney drivers keep flooding their engines

Welney Wash Road

A motorist had to be rescued from the flooded Wash Road in Welney this week – the latest driver to fall foul of the conditions there.

Previously another three drivers had to be rescued by fire crews after being stranded.

Welney wash

Despite warning signs clearly stating the road was closed and also giving the water depth, motorists were still crossing the flooded stretch which links Welney with Ten Mile Bank.

Fire chiefs criticised them for taking dangerous risks and urged others not to try following the incidents, which all happened within hours of each other and saw Littleport fire crews attending each time.

The first was around 4.10pm, with the second less than an hour later in exactly the same location last Wednesday. The third incident was in the early hours of Thursday, 3.36am, and saw Downham Market and King’s Lynn crews joining Littleport firefighters.

A Cambs Fire spokesman said: “We spent several hours retrieving people from vehicles in water on A1101 just south of Welney. Please don’t run the risk – seek alternative routes.”

Welney Parish Council chairman Graham Rainbird also urged drivers to “use their common sense” and to take heed of the warning signs, which give the water levels.

“Obviously if it is only a few centimetres deep then it is up to the individual to make up their own minds, depending on what vehicle they have. But when I looked on Monday it was over 60cms and that is far too deep to try to drive through.”

Hopes of raising the Wash Road to make it usable all year round appear to have been submerged after a spokesman for Norfolk County Council confirmed the authority had completed a feasibility study into the project four years ago.

Since then no progress has been made as any proposals would require an environmental impact assessment.

The spokesman said: “A feasibility was produced for a highway scheme to alleviate some of the flood impact, funded by the regional flood and water management committee. However the scheme would need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which may impact on cost, to mitigate any issues identified and timing of the works. We need this before we could make any bid for funding.

“Currently we have no funding for an EIA. We are seeking an estimate to do this work, after which consideration of how to fund it will be required.”

“The site has lots of environment designations, is a recognised water reservoir, a RSPB reserve, and is flooded to protect the Fens by the Environment Agency.”

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