Motorists ignore road closed signs and head into the great unknown along flooded Fenland road

21:57 25 November 2012

Whittlesey wash road flooded. Road Closed.

Whittlesey wash road flooded. Road Closed.

Archant

DRIVERS choose to ignore ‘road closed’ signs along a notorious Fenland road today despite constant warnings of flooding and news of a river death elsewhere in Cambridgeshire.

The B 1040 out of Whittlesey and towards Thorney is one of two flood warning parts of the county and re-iterated as such over the weekend by Environment Agency chiefs.

One in 10 motorists travelling out of Whittlesey along the road chose to ignore the road closed signs and carry on regardless.

I watched for 30 minutes outside of Whittlesey as most motorists drove up, looked at the rising waters alongside the North Bank, and turned back towards town.

For others, however, the challenge was there – even though none knew how quickly the waters were rising.

Councillor Martin Curtis of Whittlesey went to look for himself at the rising levels and later sent a tweet to his followers.

“Just seen a flooding update”, he wrote. “North Bank closed for at least the next 10 days. Please pass it on.”

The Environment Agency also warned that elsewhere “the level within the Ouse Washes is rising after the recent rainfall in the Great Ouse catchment.

“The Sutton Gault, Welney and Earith causeways are affected by flood water and levels are rising with further rain anticipated Monday and Tuesday.

“The causeway at Welney is flooded and the water is approximately 50 centimetres deep. The causeway at Sutton Gault has approximately 47 centimetres of flood water on it. Due to the uneven surface of the roads, water may be deeper in places.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

“The water level in the Whittlesey Washes flood storage area is continuing to rise slowly as high flows from the River Nene make their way downstream. These rising levels are flooding the B1040 road that crosses the Whittlesey Washes area. Please be aware that the local authority may close the road while the Flood Warning is in force.

“Further rain is forecast over the weekend and into next week, so the warning is likely to stay on for several days.”

FLOODLINE: Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 115277 to get more information

3 comments

  • In reply to your column "Voice of the Fens" commenting on the dozens of motorists trying to get through floods even the though the "Road Closed" signs are up, perhaps people would not attempt passing were they able to trust the signs were there for because of reasonable risk. I live at Whittlesey and use the North Bank frequently and admit that I too disregard the signs on regular basis as the water levels are quite often no more than large puddles. I do however agree that common sense should prevail when confronted by what can only be described as a sea and that, yes, there can be a lack of braincells used sometimes.

    Report this comment

    AndyP

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • In reply to your column "Voice of the Fens" commenting on the dozens of motorists trying to get through floods even the though the "Road Closed" signs are up, perhaps people would not attempt passing were they able to trust the signs were there for because of reasonable risk. I live at Whittlesey and use the North Bank frequently and admit that I too disregard the signs on regular basis as the water levels are quite often no more than large puddles. I do however agree that common sense should prevail when confronted by what can only be described as a sea and that, yes, there can be a lack of braincells used sometimes.

    Report this comment

    AndyP

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • And these drivers will expect the emergency services to pick up the pieces when they get stranded. If you flout the road closed sign, you shouldn't expect to be rescued by the emergency services. They shouldn't risk their own lives for the stupidity of some drivers continuing to pass through!

    Report this comment

    Chris Flattley

    Monday, November 26, 2012

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