Concrete blocks used for the first time to stop motorists driving on flooded road
16:05 08 January 2014
Concrete blocks weighing a quarter of a tonne each have been used for the first time in Cambridgeshire to stop motorists driving through a flooded road on the outskirts of Whittlesey.
Eight blocks have been set across the road “like giant lego bricks” in addition to road closed signs and cones in a bid to prevent drivers forcing their way through the B1040 from Whittlesey to Thorney.
A second road within a quarter of a mile has also been closed due to flood risk - the North Bank Road by the Dog in a Doublet route along the River Nene - except this one has been shut using heavy weighted red and white plastic chicane style barriers.
It cannot be totally blocked as access is needed to properties and farmland.
On Wednesday (January 8) Cambridgeshire County Council set up the concrete road blocks on the B1040, usually used to protect workmen in the road.
The action was taken following reports that people were moving cones to save themselves a 13 mile diversion through Peterborough or a 17 mile diversion via Eastrea.
A spokesman said: “There was increasing concern that people were ignoring the barriers. People were moving the cones and driving through.”
He warned: “Not only is it dangerous but to do so invalidates their insurance.”
North Bank Road at Whittlesey has also been shut due to the risk of tidal flooding and significant rainfall.
The Environment Agency has reported that heavy rain over the New Year period has caused river levels to rise on the River Nene at Whittlesey.
Their website warns that: “During periods of high tide the river will be unable to discharge into the sea, resulting in tide lock conditions. “This is likely to lead to localised flooding at North Bank Road.”
A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said the road blocks were checked twice a day.
Workmen also carried out a debris sweep of the road twice a day to ensure it was safe.
“Ultimately we need to make sure we make it safe for motorists, especially in the light of the recent accidents” he said.
Police have been in the area issuing on the spot fines to motorists who ignore the closures.
At Hundred Foot Washes, also known as the Ouse Washes, high water levels have flooded the causeways at Sutton Gault In Cambridgeshire and Welney in Norfolk.
The flood water is approximately 27cm deep at Sutton Gault and 20cm deep at Welney. The uneven surface of the road may mean that water is deeper in places.
To check on Whittlesey road closures call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, selecting option 1 and entering Quickdial number 115276.
For Hundred Foot Washes updates call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 03363.