Subway ‘would not solve flooding woes’ under Wymondham railway bridge

Firefighters rescue a man from a car stuck in flood water under the railway bridge at Wymondham in June. Firefighters rescue a man from a car stuck in flood water under the railway bridge at Wymondham in June.

Saturday, July 12, 2014
11:25 AM

Despite persistent flooding problems under Wymondham railway bridge, councillors have recommended for refusal an application for a subway path.

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The narrow road under the bridge at Station Road has become notorious for flooding during stormy weather, with firefighters often having to rescue cars which have become stuck.

The plans would build a path under the Norwich to Cambridge railway line, located between the underpass and the train station.

But at a meeting of the council’s planning committee, councillors raised concerns that the proposals would not improve the issue.

Town councillor John Andrews said: “If we were to accept it as it stood, we would have acquiesced to a drainage scheme that was not a solution.

“The drainage under the bridge is gravity-led – it drains water in to the Tiffey. When the water reaches the same height underneath the bridge as the level in the Tiffey it doesn’t do anything – it needs a pump. The plan doesn’t make provision to improve that problem. We were hoping there would have been a pump involved.”

He added that the council is generally in support of a subway being built, but felt they had no alternative.

“You can’t turn down an application by 50pc or 20pc –it’s a yes or no answer. People had reservations so it was the only option we had.”

Their comments will be sent to South Norfolk Council, who will then have the final say.

A representative from Terence O’Rourke, who submitted the application, said that the subway plans were not intended to be built until the drainage could be connected to other improvements in two approved planning applications submitted by the company.

Alan Carpenter, who lives on Silfield Road, said that flooding under the bridge had become a sore point for people living in the town.

“This is a very busy road providing access to the industrial estate and to the backwaters of Ashwellthorpe, Wreningham and beyond. One car allegedly drove through and became unable to move as its wheels were lifted from the road and it floated.

“In time, there will be a higher volume of traffic using this road due to the developments plans adjacent to Silfield Road. So far, there appears to be no relief plan other than widening of the road under the bridge,” he said.

What do you think of the council’s decision? Contact Wymondham reporter Lauren Cope at lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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