Lancashire village upset at railway bridge flood ‘joke’

The railway bridge at Euxton that has become an interent hit since the floods
The railway bridge at Euxton that has become an interent hit since the floods

An angry parish council has slammed the handling of a flood which its says reduced its village to a “laughing stock”.

Euxton Parish Council says the flooding at a rail bridge was “an embarrassment” to Lancashire Council and Network Rail.

Coun Katrina Reed, chairman of Euxton Parish Council wrote to Lancashire County Council and Network Rail following the flooding at the Euxton Lane rail bridge.

The flooding began with the Boxing Day storms but the road at the bridge was under deep water for several weeks.

Coun Reed said it was deplorable and poorly managed by those responsible.

She said: “Euxton was reduced to a laughing stock, with tales, some true, some not, of divers, kayakers, jet skiers, lost cars, failed attempts at clearing the flood and rescue vehicles themselves getting stuck.”

She said the road closure had affected many people and, together with the diversion, was poorly signed.

In a reply, Network Rail fully accepted there was a delay to it taking action. And it said there was confusion over whether responsibilty lay with Network Rail or Lancashire County Council.

Network Rail added: “Once the problem was known and understood, a pump was deployed on site, which started to clear the flood water.

“As we began pumping, the enormity of the task became apparent. Sustained wet weather prior to Christmas had elevated ground water levels over a wide area.

“As the sump under the bridge is the only low point, we effectively had to remove water from the surrounding ground as well.

“This took more than a week. We are still having to pump intermittently to manage these groundwater inflows.”

Phil Barrett, Lancashire County Council director of community services, said: “We closed Euxton Lane and put in a diversion route immediately the flooding was reported, and early in the New Year our officers worked closely with Network Rail to allow Euxton Lane to be reopened as soon as possible.

“This issue was not straightforward and involved the replacement of a flood-damaged control box, the reconnection of the electricity supply, and Network Rail using a tanker to manually remove the flood water.

“Whilst we appreciate the inconvenience of a diversion, the route was appropriate for the type and volume of traffic and was also appropriately signed.”

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