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Extra £50m needed to fund Lower Thames flood alleviation scheme

Extra £50m needed to fund Lower Thames flood alleviation scheme

Hannah Crouch

Extra £50m needed to fund Lower Thames flood alleviation scheme

An extra £50m is needed to fund the Lower Thames flood alleviation scheme according to the Environment Agency (EA).

 

The scheme, which aims to reduce the flood risk between Datchet and Teddington, is expected to cost around £500m.

About £450m has been secured through funding from government, councils and the Thames Valley and Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

A new flood channel, improvements to three of the existing Thames weirs and improved flood incident response plans are all part of the potential project.

Part of the river will also be remolded.

David Murphy, programme director for the scheme at the EA, said there was ‘still a long way to go’ but added that it had ‘achieved a lot’.

“We are moving forward at a pace,” he said.

“At the end of July and into August we are planning on holding a number of public events for residents who live along the route.

“We are looking forward to speaking to people and businesses who may have been affected by the 2014 floods as they are the reason behind the scheme.”

Royal Borough councillor Lynne Jones (Old Windsor Residents’ Association, Old Windsor) believes it is down to the government to provide the extra funds.

“Obviously I am backing the scheme, it needs to be done and Old Windsor needs to be protected,” she said.

“I am looking to central government to realise the risks and by not doing it, by not providing enough protection, there is a huge risk to residents.

“Unfortunately in this economic world things like this tend not to be done.

“Everybody agrees it needs to be done and there is a unanimous agreement between cross parties.

“If you have an agreement between parties then you know there is no other option.”

The scheme is expected to be carried out in two phases, subject to funding.

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, said a ‘huge step forward’ had been taken as phase one of the scheme is already underway.

“Thames flood relief will happen and, as I’ve said before, we must stick together locally to ensure that the remaining costs are negotiated and met by the local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and others,” he added.

“We’ve got this far and I’m optimistic.”

The scheme is expected to be completed by 2025.

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