FLOODING: Rural communities cut off as roads are forced to close

Bicester Advertiser: Mike Pearson, who lives in a caravan in Clifton Hampden, moves his possessions to higher ground Buy this photo » Mike Pearson, who lives in a caravan in Clifton Hampden, moves his possessions to higher ground

VILLAGERS living in rural parts of the county say their communities have been cut off as a number of main roads remain closed.

People in Dorchester, Culham and Northmoor have all seen several roads closed due to flooding, with cars struggling to get through.

Some homes have had to put sandbags up to their front door, with residents having to leave their homes until the water recedes.

The High Street in Clifton Hampden was completely flooded yesterday, with cottages cut off from the main road.

And shops and businesses have been struggling as a result.

Pauline Neill, owner of the Post Office in the High Street, said that that the flooding had been a “nightmare”.

She said: “It’s diabolical, I just wish it would stop.

Bicester Advertiser:

  • Flooding in Kennington Road, Kennington

“Normally we have people driving through here and driving up our sales, but now it’s only the locals who know we are open – and not many of them can even get to us.”

On the other side of the floodwater, the Barley Mow pub is closed after saying they didn’t have enough customers coming in.

Holding manager Desra Barrett said: “We had one customer in yesterday, when normally we’re really busy.

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“It’s just not worth opening, with the road flooded no one can get through.

Bicester Advertiser:

  • The flooded lock in Culham

“We’re taking half of what we did last year. We’re only just starting to recover from the floods last month – it’s almost as if there’s no point in opening when the water just keeps coming back.”

The 42-year-old said that the pub will be closed today but may reopen tomorrow, depending on whether the roads are cleared.

She said: “It’s Valentine’s Day on Friday and we have had loads of bookings – if this keeps up we’re not going to be seeing them. You just can’t expect people to come out in this weather.”

Julie Pearson, a resident at the Bridge House caravan site, said: “My main concern is my mother – we’ve been doing her shopping for her in a wheelbarrow to get it all through the water safely.

“You’ve got to take it with a sense of humour.”

Her husband, Mike, added: “We’re a couple of feet back from the water. None of the people on our level in the park have left. I’ve moved my white goods up a few inches.”

Bicester Advertiser:

  • The Barley Mow pub in Clifton Hampden has been forced to shut due to flooding

The 60-year-old said: “Julie and I will stay in here until the fire service come for us.”

Matthew Barber, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, admitted that flooded roads is the biggest problem facing villages.

He said: “It’s probably the worst thing affecting places now – there are not many properties that are seeing fresh flooding.

“We’re working with Oxfordshire County Council to try and get those roads cleared as fast as we can. There are pumps in some places, but there’s more flooding likely so we have to prepare for that too.”

Road closures

MORE than 30 roads were closed yesterday because of flooding.
Oxfordshire County Council closed 34 roads across Oxfordshire as the floods set in. The council warned people not to remove or tamper with closure signs and to obey the closures. The roads closed included:

Abingdon Road, Oxford, from its junction with Thames Street and St Aldate’s to near the Redbridge Park-and-Ride site

Lower Street, Islip

Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard

Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston

Grove Road, Harwell

Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road

B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne

High Street, Clifton Hampden

B4009 between Aston Rowant and Kinston Blount (also at Crowell)

Knightsbridge Lane, Pyrton, near Watlington

West Hagbourne – Main Street to York Street

Road to Woodeaton – from Elsfield Rd to B4027

Pembroke Lane, Milton

Main Street, East Hanney

Wallingford Road, North Moreton

Hithercroft Road, South Moreton, at its junction with Anchor Lane and High Street

Old Wharf Road, Longcot

High Street, Drayton St Leonard

London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood, from railway station to junction with A361

Godstow Road, Oxford, from A34 bridge near Wolvercote to bridge near Wytham

Dry Lane, Crawley

Culham Bridge on Tolgate Road, Culham

Weirs Lane, Oxford

Mill Street, Islip

Kennington Road, from its junction with Old Abingdon Road to the mini roundabout at Upper End, Kennington

B4016 Drayton Road, Sutton Courtenay

Lower Icknield Road, Chinnor

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