Flood signs could end traffic misery

White van man wasn't so clever when his bravardo got him stuck in the Kenilworth ford flood on 20/7/2007
Ref: 07jul129

Floods White van man wasn't so clever when his bravardo got him stuck in the Kenilworth ford flood on 20/7/2007 Ref: 07jul129

Traffic chaos caused by flooding at the ford could soon be a thing of the past as around £70,000 is planned for a new warning system.

Residents and drivers are left stuck each time heavy rain makes a stretch alongside the ford down the connecting Castle Road impassable.

As a result, cars and lorries become backed up all the way back to High Street and as a result, through the town centre.

But thanks to plans by Warwickshire County Council to spend up to £70,000 on an automatic warning system to stop cars heading down the main commuter route in bad weather, problems could soon be over.

Proposals, now out for consultation, are for signs which are automatically triggered in high water to warn of the dangers and stop drivers turning down the flooded road.

Currently a system of barriers and road signs are used, but often too late to stop traffic problems.

And Kenilworth Town Council has welcomed the move, highlighting a preferred option of warning signs at Beehive Hill, the Castle Hill junction to Castle Road, The Square and Forrest Road at the junction to Castle Road.

Discussing the plans at their last monthly meeting, members said they also want to see a sign at Malthouse Lane as they welcomed the long-awaited measures.

Town mayor, Felicity Bunker said this needed doing “very quickly” if it was going to have any impact this winter.

Cllr John Cooke (Con Abbey) said that if they were going to take steps they should get “the best scheme possible”.

Members heard that the county council hopes to find money to fund the scheme in the new year once the consultation on plans closes. But suggested costs could be put on a ‘wish list’ for HS2 funded projects in mitigation for years of disruption expected in construction of the line.

Cllr George Illingworth told the meeting that a scheme must cater both for residents, and visitors travelling through the town who will need to know what diversions to take.

“I am concerned for people who don’t know the town as if a sign says ‘road ahead closed’, they are not going to know what to do about it.

“Ideally there should be something incorporated into the existing road signs so they know where they can go instead. But these are all details. The idea in principle is tremendous and we very much welcome it.”

But Cllr Hitchens said with the increasing number of heavy goods vehicles coming through the town, he did not want this traffic diverted up minor roads such as Fieldgate Lane in what could cause huge disruption to residents.




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