Kenilworth ford warning signs ‘err on the side of caution’

The warning sign at the Castle Road Forrest Road junction
The warning sign at the Castle Road Forrest Road junction

The system controlling warning signs diverting drivers away from the ford on Castle Road, Kenilworth, errs on the side of caution according to Warwickshire County Council (WCC) engineers.

The signs have activated on two separate days: Sunday December 27 and Thursday December 31. On both days there was a small amount of water on the ford, activating the signs, which some residents have criticised.

Currently, the inner two signs near the Castle Hill junction and the Forrest Road junction activate when the water is between 0 and 100mm in depth in an effort to stop drivers aquaplaning.

The outer signs on Warwick Road and Beehive Hill activate when the water is above 100mm in depth, diverting drivers away from the ford.

Kenilwlorth resident Richard Spencer thought the signs did not clearly divert drivers and locals would be drawn to the ford so they can have a look. He said: “I can see two scenarios: confused drivers not knowing where to go to avoid a flood and locals driving to the ford to see if it’s really impassable.”

David Matthewson, team leader of the Traffic Control and Informations System Team at WCC, said the trigger levels can be changed. He added: “The two trigger levels have been set based on potential risk to motorists and although these can be adjusted to suit, initially we have erred on the side of caution.”

He also explained there can be a 15-minute delay from the ford flooding to the signs being activated due to different components of the system communicating with each other, meaning it is important not to set the trigger levels too high.