Plans due for £52,000 flood warning system

Flooding  2014 ENGPPP00120140201142548
Flooding 2014 ENGPPP00120140201142548

Detailed plans for a £52,000 flood warning system to stop drivers getting stuck in high water at Kenilworth’s ford are due in over the coming weeks.

Warwickshire County Council plans to spend the sum on flashing warning signs to help keep traffic away from Castle Road when water levels rises.

After approving the move last year, it was agreed the new system would be in place for the next round of heavy rain and council officers have confirmed that full details on the planned scheme can be released in the coming weeks.

A Warwickshire County Council spokeswoman said: “The tender documents are still being reviewed and we are awaiting further information from various companies to ensure that they are compliant to our specifications.

“We are due to award the contract by middle of February 2015 so more information will be available then.”

The automatic warning system will include a flood detection sensor at the Castle Road ford - triggering signs once water reaches a certain level - as well as electronic warning signs on approach roads telling drivers to use a different route.

It is in hope of preventing gridlock through the town when the road gets blocked and traffic has nowhere to go or heads to the High Street-Fieldgate Lane junction.

The money will also include measures to control traffic lights at the four-way junction at High Street when traffic heads to Fieldgate Lane as an alternative route out of Kenilworth. But the cost has been criticised by some residents who instead call for the cash to be spent prevent flooding rather than simply warning drivers that it has happened.

One told councillors that as the system will only flash once water spills and not when it is impassable, drivers will continue to risk the journey regardless of how high flood levels may be.

Officers from the Environment Agency have also carried out work to try and alleviate problems, and a resident - who does not want to be identified - has been clearing the grille in bad weather to try and help.