Government urged to help build £40 million permanent Ironbridge flood defences

The Government is being asked to support a £40 million permanent flood defence system for Ironbridge.

Flood barriers in Ironbridge
Flood barriers in Ironbridge

Telford & Wrekin Council said confidence in the current temporary flood defences is fading, and called for permanent measures to be installed.

The council has written to the government asking for support in delivering a £40 million permanent flood defence system for Ironbridge, which has been hammered by floods in two periods over the last year.

Flood barriers in Ironbridge

In its letter to George Eustice, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the council also asks for support for the town’s residents and businesses affected by flooding and an improvement in the accuracy of flood reporting.

Written in the aftermath of Storm Christoph last month and signed by council leader Shaun Davies and cabinet members David Wright and Carolyn Healy, the letter reads: “During the summer of 2020, we understand a significant number of panels were replaced as a result of buckling and the system continues to be put under pressure going forward.

Long-term

"The council also understands that the same barriers failed in Bewdley during the recent flood... All this leads to a growing lack of confidence in this form of barrier going forward in Ironbridge.

“As delivered in other areas of the country, our communities in the Gorge need a £40m (estimated) investment into a demountable and long-term flood defence solution for the area.

Flood defences in Ironbridge less than two weeks ago

“Telford & Wrekin Council has a good working relationship with the Environment Agency. However, it should be noted that there was a significant level of confusion and anxiety... as a result of the inaccurate flood data published. The same issues occurred in February 2020.

“In continuing to support those affected through recovery, we hope that ministers will be shortly announcing financial support for residents and businesses affected by this flooding that largely mirrors the support of 2020.”

Last year, when Shropshire was hit by the worst floods in years, barriers on the Wharfage in Ironbridge were pushed backwards by the force of the River Severn, gouging parts of the road surface.

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