SRA Annual Report 2018-19: Resilient Infrastructure (W4)
Somerset Rivers Authority carried out an extensive programme of extra maintenance works to reduce flood risks to roads and nearby properties, including gully-emptying, drain jetting, edge of road clearing, de-silting of structures and culvert improvements. Drainage works have been carried out near Chelston and Stoke sub Hamdon; schemes designed for Monksilver, and Stogursey and Shurton; studies advanced at Beckington and Bradford on Tone.
Although its name emphasises rivers, Somerset Rivers Authority deals with highways as well as waterways. This is because the SRA oversees Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which was drawn up during the floods of 2013-14. Those floods closed 81 roads, often for long periods. Countless people suffered difficulties. Businesses lost time and money: 86% of Somerset businesses were badly hit – the estimated cost to the local economy of highway and travel problems was up to £15 million. (The total estimated cost of the floods was up to £147.5m).
So two of the Flood Action Plan’s six main objectives relate directly to making Somerset’s infrastructure more resilient: they are to ‘Maintain access for communities and business’ and to ‘Ensure strategic road and rail connectivity, both within Somerset and through the county to the South West peninsula’.
A programme of additional maintenance therefore got the largest share of spending in this workstream in 2018-19. Hundreds of places susceptible to very local flooding benefitted.
Links to more detailed W4 information
Surveys and investigations