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Staverton and Holt flood gates - what's going on?

March 4, 2020 5:13 PM
By Trevor Carbin

Gates shut when the road is clear of flood water or open when it isn't, or closed at one end but not the other. Road closed signs for the Causeway when the road was open with people making unnecessary diversions. Clearly the system isn't working the way it should.

Here's what WC say:

With regards to the flood gates we attempt to shut the gates prior to the road flooding and reopen them once the road is fully clear of water. So outlining the approach that we take:

B3106 Staverton Bridge to Tollgate

• Flood alert issued for Mid Bristol Avon and River in conjunction with and assessment of river levels upstream of Staverton meaning that the carriageway will be submerged - gates will be closed ahead of the event, where possible.

Water levels will be checked daily.

When road is completely clear of water gates will be opened.

B3105 Staverton Bridge to Forewoods Common

Flood alert issued for Mid Bristol Avon and River in conjunction with and assessment of river levels upstream of Staverton - Carriageway will be inspected daily.

Water flows over carriageway - Road will be closed

Water subsides to the degree at the edges of the carriageway are clearly identifiable - Road opened.

This creates two questions - is that process always observed and even if it is, is there scope for improvement??

I've asked for this to be considered at the next meeting of the Community Area Transport Group. This is the body which, with the Area Board, arranged for the gates to be inserted.

We need to minimise the amount of time the roads are closed without compromising public safety. We also need to find better ways of communicating to people when closures take place: if drivers know in advance which roads are closed they can plan accordingly. It's aggravating when you get there expecting the roads to be open but find you're having to make a diversion.

There will of course always been a gap between the perfect time to open or close the gates or put out signs for the Causeway and the physical possibility of doing that - it's just a matter of reducing those times to a minimum, and letting people know what's happening.