Flood blog: Tuesday, February 11 for Oxfordshire

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  • Dozens of roads still shut
  • Abingdon Road shut but Botley Road open
  • Train services to Paddington very badly affected, by both flooding at Hinksey and Kennington and flood-related signalling problems between Twyford and Maidenhead so First Great Western are advising looking for other routes into the capital
  • Heavy rain for Tuesday morning
  • Thames throughout Oxford and further south and east on flood warning

12:12am

THE outlook for rail passengers hoping to travel between Oxfordshire and London Paddington in the morning remains poor.

While flood water on the tracks at Redbridge is receding slowly, offering the prospect of more trains being able to operate between Oxford, Didcot Parkway and Reading, there are still major problems with water-damaged signal equipment between Twyford and Maidenhead.

First Great Western says that until Network Rail has managed to carry out repairs there, only five trains per hour will be able to run in each direction between Reading and Paddington, a fifth of the normal service.

FGW is advising passengers to consider whether their journey is necessary and to take alternative routes where they are available.

Passengers between Oxford and London can travel via Banbury and change there for Chiltern Railways services to and from London Marylebone. FGW has also lifted ticket restrictions until Friday, to allow passengers to postpone or alter their travel plans.

Until restrictions on the number of trains allowed to pass through the Redbridge area are lifted, CrossCountry trains will not operate between Oxford and Didcot.

Hourly services will operate in each direction between Oxford, Banbury, Birmingham and Manchester and between Didcot Parkway, Reading and Southampton or Bournemouth.

CrossCountry passengers can use their tickets on FGW, Chiltern and South West Trains services to complete their journeys by any reasonable route.

For the latest information, see the FGW and CrossCountry websites.

10:20pm

9:57pm

We must stress that this has not been confirmed, but an Oxford resident has just emailed in to say three fire engines with crews were on Abingdon Road this evening tackling the floodwater.

 

9:54pm

Another fire engine has been sent out to flood-affected Binsey Lane tonight, off Botley Road in Oxford.

 

Witney Gazette:

8:14pm

8:09pm

7:49pm

Linda Wride sent in this picture of fire crews in Botley Road tonight pumping the water

Witney Gazette:

7:24pm

STAGECOACH is expecting all of its bus route diversions from today to remain in place tomorrow.

The 16 and 16a to Minchery Farm and the 31 and 34 from Wantage to Oxford will continue to be diverted via Iffley Road instead of Abingdon Road.

The 18 from Bampton to Oxford will be diverted on the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.

7:02pm

David Cameron makes a statement on the floods:

6:42pm

Met Office is saying there could be between 2cm and 5cm of snow on high ground and maybe 2cm on lower ground overnight. However it is not expected to settle on the ground, with the rain to wash it away.

6:25pm

For those commuters into London, here's a picture of the source of your misery

5:47pm

A First Great Western trains spokesman has said: “Water levels have started to fall at Hinksey and we hope to be able to run more services tomorrow morning than we are running at present.

“But we would urge people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

“The issues we are experiencing in Maidenhead are ongoing, so the timetable of services to London is still severely restricted.”

5:47pm

Oxford Mail reader Elizabeth How reflected on the flooding with this atmospheric image of Abingdon Road.

Witney Gazette:

 

5:44pm

5:18pm

For those of you who didn't catch our chat to firefighter Guy Dunkley about keeping Botley Road open, here it is again:

4:40pm

More good news from the Met Office. Oxfordshire is now on a yellow warning for snow. And we still have forecasts of rain throughout tomorrow.

The Met Offic e forecast is: "Showers will turn increasingly to snow on Tuesday, even down to low levels, and will continue through Tuesday night. Snow showers will continue into Wednesday morning in the north. Accumulations of 2-5 cm are likely on ground above about 150-200 m with perhaps 10 cm or more above 300 m especially in the west of Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales. On low ground, lying snow will tend to melt between showers by day but 1-3 cm may settle on Tuesday evening and night. Icy stretches will also form in the evening, these lasting well into Wednesday morning in the north.

"The public should be aware of the risk of some travel disruption and  difficult driving conditions. This is an update to the warning issued yesterday, to include more of Wales and central England."

4:32pm

4:31pm

And ditto on the Stagecoach front:

The following diversions are currently in place:

Route 16/16A - Due to flooding Abingdon Road and Donnington Bridge are closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up at the normal stop in St Aldates.

Route 18 -  Buses are unable to access Bablockhythe and Northmoor due to flooding. The 18 service will continue to run on the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.

Route 31 and 34 - Due to flooding Abingdon Road is closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up and set down at the normal stop in St Aldates.

We will monitor the services throughout the day and post updates as the situation changes.

Services Affected: 11, 16, 16A, 18, 31, 34, 66, S1, S3, X30

4:30pm

No great difference for Oxford Bus Company. It's latest update is:

We ask all passengers to allow extra time for their journeys, as many of our services are on long diversions. We also expect there will be a considerable volume of extra traffic which will compound the delays.

city3/city5: city3 and city5 are now returning to their normal routes and serving the rail station.

cityX3/X13/300: Due to the closure of the Abingdon Rd, our services are diverting via Iffley Rd and the Ring Road in both directions. During this morning's peak we are experiencing delays on X3/X13 due to heavy traffic on the A34 northbound.

city35: services are diverting via Bagley Wood Rd, Ring Road and Iffley Road in both directions. No stops between St Swithuns Road and Redbridge are able to be served.

city2: Mill St / Evans Lane in Kidlington has reopened and our services have returned to normal route.

park&ride400: Seacourt park and ride is closed. As such, our 400 service is terminating at Oxford Rail Station. Passengers requiring the park and ride can use our city4 service, which will drop off at Toys 'R' Us on Botley Road.

Due to the delays caused by the Abingdon Road closure, our 300 service has been 'split' so not all buses are serving the whole through-route. As a result, we suggest that passengers intending to travel to Pear Tree Park&Ride board at the Magdalen Street stop.

4:28pm

Further information from First Great Western:

There are no direct services between Oxford and Reading/London Paddington. A shuttle service is running between Oxford and Didcot once an hour in each direction. This is being supported by rail replacement buses between Oxford and Didcot, calling at Radley. Customers can change at Didcot for services to Reading and London Paddington.

An hourly shuttle service is also operating from Didcot to Twyford calling at all stations between Didcot and Twyford.

Customers should only travel into and out of London if absolutely necessary, or consider alternative routes into/out of the capital.

The current levels of flooding mean we are still able to operate a limited number of North Cotswold services through to London Paddington and vice versa.

Customers travelling between Oxford and London may wish to travel via Banbury and Marylebone using Chiltern Railways services on whose trains your tickets will be valid.

4:19pm

New list of road closures - a few less than last time

  • Abingdon Road, Oxford from its junction with Thames Street and St Aldate's in the city centre to near the Redbridge park-and-ride site close to the Kennington roundabout
  • Lower Street, Islip
  • Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
  • Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
  • Spring Lane, Playhatch
  • Grove Road, Harwell
  • Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road
  • B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
  • High Street, Clifton Hampden
  • B478 Sonning Bridge
  • Road through the village of North Weston to Shabbington Rd
  • 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 (Vale)
  • 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
  • Mill Lane, Henley
  • Culham Bridge on Tolgate Road, Culham
  • Thameside South, Friday Lane to Station Road, Henley
  • Weirs Lane, Oxford
  • Kennington Road, from its junction with Old Abingdon Road to the mini roundabout at Upper End, Kennington
  • B4016 Drayton Road, Sutton Courtenay

4:16pm

Unfortunately we do not have good news for you commuters plotting to get back to Oxfordshire on the trains. First Great Western updated its travel advisory that those signalling problems between Maidenhead and Twyford are still causing havoc.

"This means we are only able to run trains on two of the four tracks into and out of Paddington," the company says. "Services are severely affected and customers should only travel into and out of London if absolutely necessary, or consider alternative routes into/out of the capital.

"Some services are still running but at a significantly reduced frequency, and customers should expect delays and cancellations to services.

"We strongly advise customers to only travel if absolutely necessary in the affected areas, or consider alternative routes."

4:12pm

Due to flooding, Oxfordshire Trading Standards' Graham Hill House off Ferry Hinksey Road is closed to personal callers.

4:04pm

4:03pm

4:01pm

3:57pm

3:13pm

First Great Western says stopping services from Didcot are only able to operate as far as Twyford.

Passengers travelling between Oxford and London are strongly advised to go via Banbury and use Chiltern Railway services to and from London Marylebone.

3:11pm

Today, residents have spoken to the Mail to say the work done since the 2007 floods seems to have helped.
The EA work included building drainage ditches, removing St Helen’s Mill Bridge and clearing other bridges.
Mayor of Abingdon Samantha Bowring was also flooded in 2007.
She said: “The work done has helped a huge amount. This time it’s mainly been the traffic problems in Oxford that people are talking about.”
Rector of Abingdon Charles Miller said: “The rivers seem to be controlled more effectively because they did a lot or work since the 2007 floods.
“This time it looks like the Thames could be the issue when it is usually the Ock.”
Emergency plans are in place in case the 20 residents in the almshouses off St Helen’s Wharf need to be evacuated, warden Ruth Lee said.
But she added if they leave it would probably be because of floodwater drainage problems rather than flooding in their homes.
St John’s Ambulance unit in Caldecott Road and Abingdon’s Guildhall are ready to become shelters in case residents need to be evacuated.
The car park in Abingdon’s Tesco was shut over the weekend as river levels rose but reopened fully this week.

3:09pm

Residents in Abingdon say flood defences set up after 2007 have helped them escape some of the worst.

Retired Thames Valley Police officer Colin Steele, 52, has lived in a ground floor flat in St Helen’s Mill for two years.

He said: “It is just one of those things. That’s easy to say when you are still dry but I might change my mind if it gets worse and I’m coming home to knee-high floodwater.
Neighbour Steven MacIver, 34, said: “Wading to and from your flat in floodwater is a sacrifice for living in such a nice spot next to the river for most of the year.”

2:52pm

Here's one way to try to recruit a Government minister into giving us new flood defences...

2:30pm

2:21pm

Witney Gazette:

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has visited Botley Road in Oxford this afternoon to look at the operation to hold the flood waters back from one of the key routes into the city.

Visiting Bullstake Close Mr Pickles said he was “very impressed” with the attempts to keep Botley Road open.

He said: “The firefighters are using a very unusual method of using high pressure hoses to keep the water at bay and I think it may well have other applications elsewhere.

“In fairness to the authorities here these are pretty exceptional weather conditions and I have got nothing but praise for the fire service and the councils for the way they have worked together.

“I have been briefed about the Western Conveyance by the Environment Agency and there is a flood summit taking place next month so we will look to see what comes out of that.”

Witney Gazette:

2:15pm

It would appear Ian Hudspeth's #bowwavebandit campaign to shame drivers going down flooded roads has started

1:34pm

1:22pm

Watch a video bulletin from the Press Association

12:59pm

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell has today called on people and organisations to work together through the flooding crisis as he dismissed claims about looting.

He said: "Thames Valley Police has dedicated a significant number of officers across our Force area to assist in flood relief efforts and provide support to our local residents.

“We are also responsible for co-ordinating a number of agencies that make up the strategic command group, which includes the Environment Agency, local authorities, the Fire and Rescue services, ambulance and the military.

“There is an enormous amount of work going on across the Thames Valley to try and alleviate the flooding and put measures in place to help those that have been affected.

“I am aware that there have been rumours circulating about criminal activity and suggestions that looting has been taking place. I can state that there have been no reports to police that corroborate these rumours and additional officers have been deployed to flood affected areas to deter those who would look to exploit this situation to criminal ends.

“We are working very hard to help people and we will do everything we can to try and restore things back to normal as quickly as possible.

“I would personally like to thank all those people who have volunteered their time to help in the flood affected areas.

“Working together is exactly what is needed at this time as we all pull together to get through this, and I hope this will continue until the flood waters recede and a sense of normality has been restored.”

12:53pm

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now arrived in Oxford to see the flooding.

He is in the Botley Road area talking to county council staff and it is understood that his next stop will be Bullstake Close.

 

 

12:12pm

12:08pm

Listen to Station Commander Guy Dunkley describing the operation to keep Oxford's Botley Road open

11:45am

11:04am

11:03am

This is the scene on Abingdon Road today - as reporter Emma Harrison's images show.

Witney Gazette:

 

 

Witney Gazette:

10:56am

Water levels on Abingdon Road are down this morning.

These two images show nearby Wytham Street's flood-lapped road sign today and then yesterday - when it was clearly a little higher.

 

Witney Gazette:

 

Witney Gazette:

10:40am

Rain is falling this morning, but Botley Road remains clear.

10:37am

The agency is also saying it does not think rainfall in the county in the coming days will be as bad as previously had been forecast.

10:35am

Oxfordshire has escaped the worst of the flooding in the Thames Valley simply because it hasn’t rained as much in the county or in the upper catchment area, the Environment Agency has said.
However, it will take two days for the water further upstream to reach Oxford, meaning that even if it isn’t raining, water levels could still remain high.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are expecting more rain this week and we are monitoring the situation. We are keeping a very close eye on it.”

10:14am

This is the situation on the Ock in Abingdon this morning by the flats at St Helen's Mill. Reporter Katriona Ormiston is out there at the moment.

Witney Gazette:

10:12am

10:10am

10:10am

Crikey - this bit of fun has come in from reader Alan Crowder.

"Just spotted by my mate Chris Ledger cruising along the Abingdon Road," he said.

Witney Gazette:

9:59am

9:45am

9:41am

9:40am

Motorists have been criticised by Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth for driving through floodwaters.

The leader has labelled them as "ignorant bow-wave bandits" - after the waves created when cars plough through floodwater.

The council says a large number of reports have been received of people driving through floodwater.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the county council, now wants people to turn to Twitter to shame such motorists.

He said: “Just about everybody at the county council is fed up of having to repeat over and over again that it is foolhardy to drive a vehicle on to sections of road that have flooded.

“Our highways teams do no put up road closed signs because the notion takes their fancy. They do so because roads are covered in water, will damage vehicles, could harm motorists and will cause bow waves that flood nearby properties.

“I am sure there are plenty of examples of sheepish motorists who in recent weeks have had to telephone their insurance company to make a claim with nobody to blame but themselves.

“On the other hand, I am sure there are examples of people whose homes have suffered flooding which would not otherwise have happened had it not been for aggressive motorists ploughing through several feet of water and creating bow waves.”

Officials say driving through such water could also spread sewage around.

Councillor Hudspeth added: “It is the most ignorant behaviour imaginable. The majority of motorists don’t engage in this behaviour and the minority need to take a leaf out of their book – and they need to do so quickly.”

“We want this to be as unacceptable as speeding and drink driving.

"Tweet with hashtag #bowwavebandit when you see a vehicle creating an anti-social bow-wave for flooded properties, and let this minority of irresponsible drivers know how you feel.”

The council says that people should only tweet when safe to do so and never while driving.

9:30am

9:09am

9:09am

9:08am

Here's a little eye opener over the current extent of the flood warnings and alerts.

Witney Gazette:

8:54am

Passengers affected by disruption on the trains between Oxford and Didcot are being advised of alternative services.

Chiltern Railways says it is currently running unaffected services from Bicester to Marylebone and honouring tickets issued by other operators.

8:53am

Not sure if it is flood related but Badgemore Community Primary School is closed today due to boiler failure. It is expected to re-open tomorrow.

8:51am

8:51am

8:51am

8:36am

The River Evenlode is markedly down, reports say this morning.

The figures from the Environment Agency show the river level at Shipton is 1.44 metres as of 7.15am today.

The highest river level recorded at this location is 2.54 metres.

8:29am

8:28am

8:27am

8:27am

8:26am

8:26am

8:18am

Across the country, the Environment Agency has issued more than 350 flood alerts and warnings, with the South East, South West and the Midlands bearing the brunt of the flooding.

Severe flood warnings - where there is a danger to life – this morning remain in place along stretches of the River Thames west of London and on the Somerset Levels.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from homes along the Thames after its burst its banks in Surrey and Berkshire, with thousands more at risk as water levels are expected to rise even further today.

There are, however, no severe flood warnings in place in the county.

7:57am

7:54am

7:54am

7:53am

7:52am

7:40am

For catch-up, Thames Valley Police yesterday declared the flooding officially a major incident. This is largely due to the flooding down in Berkshire.

Last night force spokeswoman Michelle Nicols explained: "Declaring  a Major Incident in this case means we are coordinating all of the different agencies under one command i.e a police Gold Commander rather than responding separately. So there is a ‘Strategic Coordination Group’ set up under an Assistant Chief Constable Gold Commander. So all of the local authorities, Environment Agency, Highways, utilities, military, police, met office, rail etc all come together either physically or via regular phone conferences to coordinate the response to the flooding, give the accurate up to date picture, deal with any issues, direct resources, source more resources if needed."

7:31am

 

7:31am

7:31am

Weather forecast for the rest of the county:

Up Bicester way there are showers today and it turns heavy this evening. Sleet possible overnight but then you'll be facing heavy rain on the way into work and school and for the rest of the day. And there's gusty winds with a yellow warning as well. Thursday starts windy but dry and light showers mid-afternoon.

Friday is forecast to be dry until the evening and then it gets heavy overnight. Rain is forecast throughout Saturday.

Westwards again rain all day today with heavy showers mid-afternoon. As with the north, sleet around 3am, and then loads of rain coming down over Wednesday with rain and wind warnings in place from lunchtime.

You may wake to a light snow shower Thursday morning but the wind and rain falls away so the day is mostly dry. Friday day is mostly dry but again that night and Saturday are a write-off if you're planning to do anything outside.

Down in the south, that heavy rain is not forecast to come in until this evening. That day of rain and wind warnings everywhere else is also going to hit the south of the county as well. Thursday looking drier apart from light showers around 3pm. And again Friday mainly dry until the night and again Saturday is... grim.

7:22am

New information from Stagecoach for you:

Although all of our services are running we are experiencing some delays and have diversions in place due to the flood. Passengers are advised to expect delays on services that need to run into and out of Oxford due to Abingdon Road being closed.

Botley Road is currently open, but is reduced to one central lane by Seacourt, delays are expected due to traffic congestion and we will update this page if this changes.

We will be doing what we can to operate as many journeys as we can to timetable.

The following diversions are currently in place:

Route 16/16A - Due to flooding Abingdon Road and Donnington Bridge are closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up at the normal stop in St Aldates.

Route 18 -  Buses are unable to access Bablockhythe and Northmoor due to flooding. The 18 service will continue to run on the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.

Route 31 and 34 - Due to flooding Abingdon Road is closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up and set down at the normal stop in St Aldates.

We will monitor the services throughout the day and post updates as the situation changes.

Services Affected: 11, 16, 16A, 18, 31, 34, 66, S1

7:13am

Your sandbag "dumps" in the city from Oxfordshire County Council are outside the Duke of Monmouth pub, on Abingdon Road, Oxford and by PC World, Botley Road, Oxford. The city council has them at Redbridge Park and Ride and (the closed to traffic) Seacourt Park and Ride.

7:03am

7:02am

While we in no way want to tempt fate for today (and we're sure county council leader Ian Hudspeth is in the same, erm, boat), he's just tweeted this:
 

7:00am

No change on the flood warning front for us:

  • River Thames from Buscot Wick down to Shifford including Buscot, Kelmscott, Radcot, Lower Bampton area and Chimney Area
  • River Thames between Newbridge and Kings Lock above Oxford including Northmoor, Stanton Harcourt, Bablock Hythe and caravan park, Eynsham, Swinford and Yarnton
  • River Thames and tributaries in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford
  • River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford
  • River Thames and tributaries at Kennington near Oxford
  • River Thames at Culham
  • River Thames in Abingdon
  • River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
  • River Thames from Days Lock down to South Stoke, including Dorchester-on-Thames and Overy, Shillingford, Benson, Wallingford, North Stoke and Moulsford
  • River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington down to and including Hardwick
  • River Thame from Chiselhampton to Drayton St Leonard including Newington
  • River Thame in the Dorchester and Overy areas

6:55am

We remain on at "medium" risk of flooding in Oxfordshire according to our friends at the Environment Agency, for at least the next couple of days.

"This disruption may include flooding to significant numbers of properties, parts of communities, disruption to infrastructure identified in flood plans and travel disruption," the agency says. And further downstream: "There is a high flood risk from river flooding on the Thames in Windsor and Maidenhead and Surrey for Tuesdat. Impacts are expected to include widespread flooding affecting significant numbers of properties and whole communities and widespread disruption to travel."

There's currrent 16 severe flood warnings on the Thames but none, thankfully, in our area to tell you about.

6:51am

6:48am

Weather forecast time:

Oxford: As feared yesterday, this morning we'll be hit with heavy rain through to lunchtime. It's a bit drier early afternoon but your commute and later tonight might see light showers.

Overnight there may well be some light snow, just to change it up, as temperatures fall to -3. Light rain in the morning and then it gets nasty. Well, nastier, with high winds and heavy rain right through to the evening to such an extent the Met Office has us on a yellow warning for both rain and wind.

That state of affairs continues into Thursday morning and you may wake to some sleet. Thursday day looking drier apart from the odd light shower in the afternoon and Friday is also looking dry.

But that heavy rain kicks back in on Friday night and Saturday is a combination of heavy and light showers throughout the night and day.

6:41am

We're just waiting on Stagecoach's update for Oxfordshire but given the roads look similar to yesterday, for people travelling into work early this morning, this was the company's information on Monday:

Route 16/16A - Due to flooding Abingdon Road and Donnington Bridge are closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up at the normal stop in St Aldate's.

Route 18 -  Buses are unable to access Bablockhythe and Northmoor due to flooding. The 18 service will continue to run on the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.

Route 31 and 34  - Due to flooding Abingdon Road is closed.  Buses will run via Iffley Road instead but will pick up and set down at the normal stop in St Aldate's.

We will monitor the services throughout the day and post updates as the situation changes.

Services Affected: 11, 16, 16A, 18, 31, 34, 66, S1

6:40am

On the weather front the day is looking like it is going to see that heavy rain we feared.

The Met Office has put Oxfordshire and the rest of the south east on a yellow alert for rain.

It says: "Further spells of rain, heavy at times, and accompanied by strong winds and coastal gales, are expected into Tuesday morning.  The rain should clear eastwards by around the middle of Tuesday.

"The public should be aware of the risk of further disruption due to flooding."

The chief forecaster said: "Another area of low pressure and its associated fronts are likely to affect the UK during Monday night and into Tuesday, bringing a further spell of heavy rain and strong winds, particularly to southern areas from the west. 

"There remains some uncertainty in timing of the frontal system, but 10 to 20 mm rainfall is likely quite widely, with over 30 mm possible across parts of South Wales and southwest England.

"With ongoing flooding in some places, any further rain will only add to the problems. Very gusty winds may be an added hazard in places."

6:32am

Turning to the buses, Oxford Bus Company is advising there has been no change overnight. It is asking passengers to allow extra time for journeys given the roads are expected to be busier than usual.

Its service amendments are:

Abingdon Services (city4, 35 and X3/X13) : Due to flood diversions and very heavy traffic in and around the city, we are currently experiencing delays of 30-45 minutes on our Abingdon services.

cityX3/X13/300: Due to the closure of the Abingdon Rd, our services are diverting via Iffley Rd and the Ring Road in both directions. We are operating a shuttle service between the JR Hospital and Oxford City to take pressure off our 13 and X13 services. Passengers may be expected to get connecting buses to complete their journey.

city35: services are diverting via Bagley Wood Rd, Ring Road and Iffley Road in both directions. No stops between St Swithuns Road and Redbridge are able to be served.

city2: Mill St / Evans Lane in Kidlington has reopened and our services are returning to normal route.

park&ride400: Seacourt park and ride is closed. As such, our 400 service is terminating at Oxford Rail Station. Passengers requiring the park and ride can use our city4 service, which will drop off at Toys 'R' Us on Botley Road.

Due to the delays caused by the Abingdon Road closure, our 300 service has been 'split' so not all buses are serving the whole through-route. As a result, we suggest that passengers intending to travel to Pear Tree Park&Ride board at the Magdalen Street stop.

6:31am

6:24am

Just to remind drivers, with the Botley Road still open, the bus gate enforcement in High Street is still in place, so if you cut through after 7.30am Oxfordshire County Council will send you a ticket.

6:23am

On the local flooding, First Great Western says

Train services running through Oxford and Didcot may be cancelled or revised at short notice. Culham and Appleford will not be served. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

Owing to flooding between Oxford and Didcot Parkway a reduced service is in operation. Customers travelling between Oxford and London may wish to travel via Banbury and Marylebone using Chiltern Railways services on whose trains your tickets will be valid.
Customers travelling between Worcester and London (via Evesham) will have through train services during peak hours but outside these times, customers may use their tickets on Virgin Trains and London Midland services via Birmingham New Street.

6:22am

First Great Western has added:

In recognition of the disruption expected, and to allow customers to postpone their journeys until later in the week, ticket restrictions have been lifted across the First Great Western network until Friday.

During the day, services in the following areas are expected to be affected as outlined below. Additional trains will run during peak times :

Paddington to Oxford

  • Local stopping services will operate between Twyford and Didcot Parkway only.
  • Connecting services to London Paddington will be extremely limited.
  • Services will run hourly between Didcot and Oxford.
  • Customers wishing to travel from Oxford to London may find it easier to travel via Banbury into London Marylebone, where First Great Western tickets will be valid.

6:17am

For rail passengers commuting to London some very bad news: in addition to the flooding near Oxford, the signalling problems at Maidenhead have not been sorted and First Great Western released this at 1am:

Network Rail has informed us that signal and safety equipment in the Maidenhead area has been affected by flooding.

This means we are only able to run trains on two of the four tracks into and out of Paddington.

Services are still running but at a significantly reduced frequency, and customers should expect delays and cancellations to services.

If they are unable to fix the problem there is a high risk that we will only be able to run an extremely limited service on the morning of Tuesday 11 February.

We strongly advise customers to check before travelling, or consider alternative routes.

Cross Country, Chiltern Railways, South West Trains and London Underground services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.

6:11am

On the school front, there are no reported closures or partial closures yet.

6:09am

First look at the roads doesn't appear to have changed too much from last night. Abingdon Road in Oxford is still closed but Botley Road is not. Seacourt park and ride remains shut. You can expect delays on your journey to work or school today.

The current list of road closures is:

  • Abingdon Road, Oxford from its junction with Thames Street and St Aldate's in the city centre to near the Redbridge park-and-ride site close to the Kennington roundabout
  • Lower Street, Islip
  • Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
  • Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
  • Spring Lane, Playhatch
  • Grove Road, Harwell
  • Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road
  • B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
  • High Street, Clifton Hampden
  • B478 Sonning Bridge
  • Road through the village of North Weston near Postcombe
  • 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 (Vale)
  • Wallingford Road, North Moreton
  • Hithercroft Road, South Moreton, at its junction with Anchor Lane and High Street
  • Old Wharf Road, Longcot
  • Friday Lane / Station Road, Henley
  • 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
  • Mill Lane, Henley
  • Culham Bridge on Tolgate Road, Culham
  • Thameside South, Thameside North, and New Street, Henley
  • Weirs Lane, Oxford
  • Mill Street Islip. Temporary traffic signals in place to permit traffic to use Kings Head Lane through the narrowing in both directions
  • Kennington Road, from its junction with Old Abingdon Road to the mini roundabout at Upper End, Kennington
  • Bell Street, Henley southbound closed at junction with Kings Road and Bell Lane. Diversion is via Kings Road, Gravel Hill and Deanfiled Avenue to Duke Street. Bell Street northbound remains open
  • B4016 Drayton Road, Sutton Courtenay
  • Lower Icknield Road, Chinnor

6:06am

Good morning. Here's today's flood blog.

Initially on the trains front, there's delays on First Great Western due to the flooding down at Hinksey and Kennington, while CrossCountry have again given up running services between the city and Didcot.

Comments (17)

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7:08am Tue 11 Feb 14

kikirem says...

For those who want up-to-date changes in the Oxford Stream levels look at these webpages -

http://www.riverleve
ls.info/bulstake-str
eam-botley-new-botle
y

http://www.riverleve
ls.info/seacourt-str
eam-botley-minns-est
ate
For those who want up-to-date changes in the Oxford Stream levels look at these webpages - http://www.riverleve ls.info/bulstake-str eam-botley-new-botle y http://www.riverleve ls.info/seacourt-str eam-botley-minns-est ate kikirem

8:52am Tue 11 Feb 14

the wizard says...

While this weather has brought about chaos, it is also a fact that the rest of mainland Europe has had a hammering too. It would be of interest to see how they are coping with the situation, especially the Dutch who live in constant threat of flooding. Their water management techniques may be something we could learn from. We really do need to get measures in place this summer/autumn to avoid this situation repeating itself. Putting physical measures in place will also put money into industry and maybe even get people out of unemployment , surely a bonus even if it is for a short while.Meanwhile we must be more pro active in the future, and who ever is in government needs to LISTEN to what they are being told and act with budget and resources, not budget caps on what can be done.
While this weather has brought about chaos, it is also a fact that the rest of mainland Europe has had a hammering too. It would be of interest to see how they are coping with the situation, especially the Dutch who live in constant threat of flooding. Their water management techniques may be something we could learn from. We really do need to get measures in place this summer/autumn to avoid this situation repeating itself. Putting physical measures in place will also put money into industry and maybe even get people out of unemployment , surely a bonus even if it is for a short while.Meanwhile we must be more pro active in the future, and who ever is in government needs to LISTEN to what they are being told and act with budget and resources, not budget caps on what can be done. the wizard

9:11am Tue 11 Feb 14

Englishman says...

I wonder why this year Witney has not flooded? Other years when there has been less water Witney has suffered but this year places in Oxford and below are suffering more but not Witney. Couldn't have anything to do with Davy Boy being PM could it.?
I wonder why this year Witney has not flooded? Other years when there has been less water Witney has suffered but this year places in Oxford and below are suffering more but not Witney. Couldn't have anything to do with Davy Boy being PM could it.? Englishman

10:37am Tue 11 Feb 14

henryhs says...

what is the picture of at 10:10 by Alan Crowder? i cant seem to make it out.
what is the picture of at 10:10 by Alan Crowder? i cant seem to make it out. henryhs

11:41am Tue 11 Feb 14

morrismac says...

I think it's the famous Abingdon Road Submarine Expedition.
I think it's the famous Abingdon Road Submarine Expedition. morrismac

12:11pm Tue 11 Feb 14

the wizard says...

Englishman wrote:
I wonder why this year Witney has not flooded? Other years when there has been less water Witney has suffered but this year places in Oxford and below are suffering more but not Witney. Couldn't have anything to do with Davy Boy being PM could it.?
WODC put measures in place after the big flood when Witney nearly lost its only river crossing. Since then things haven't been quite so bad. Please note its is only the Windrush that flows through Witney, not the Thames.

At least WODC learned from events, why haven't other towns along the way done the same.

Anyway " Double Dip,lets blame anyone right now Dave" lives in Dean which is a few miles away from Witney. Strange how he is promising money and resources now, after the devastation rather than previously, or did he really think he could be a chancer and get away with it . He has failed the nation, and this mess is going to cost a lot to put right. Hopefully now an ongoing programme will be evolved to safe guard the coastal areas which have become damaged and also an ongoing river maintenance and land drainage project to help protect not only the Somerset levels but also communities along rivers. Although devastating I feel things could have easily been a lot worse.
[quote][p][bold]Englishman[/bold] wrote: I wonder why this year Witney has not flooded? Other years when there has been less water Witney has suffered but this year places in Oxford and below are suffering more but not Witney. Couldn't have anything to do with Davy Boy being PM could it.?[/p][/quote]WODC put measures in place after the big flood when Witney nearly lost its only river crossing. Since then things haven't been quite so bad. Please note its is only the Windrush that flows through Witney, not the Thames. At least WODC learned from events, why haven't other towns along the way done the same. Anyway " Double Dip,lets blame anyone right now Dave" lives in Dean which is a few miles away from Witney. Strange how he is promising money and resources now, after the devastation rather than previously, or did he really think he could be a chancer and get away with it . He has failed the nation, and this mess is going to cost a lot to put right. Hopefully now an ongoing programme will be evolved to safe guard the coastal areas which have become damaged and also an ongoing river maintenance and land drainage project to help protect not only the Somerset levels but also communities along rivers. Although devastating I feel things could have easily been a lot worse. the wizard

12:57pm Tue 11 Feb 14

train passenger says...

There is a huge case for spending many billions on Britain's crumbling infrastructure. From high quality roads that do not continuously generate potholes, railway lines needing electrification and much higher speeds, A34 and others that ought to be M (not A) to housing stock of higher quality, proper cycle paths, sewer systems and well-functioning airports. As the wizard says above there are lessons to be learnt from other countries, but most of all it requires a willingness to invest and to completely ignore vested interests and nimbies. Therefore I can't see it happen unfortunately, politicians lack the courage.
There is a huge case for spending many billions on Britain's crumbling infrastructure. From high quality roads that do not continuously generate potholes, railway lines needing electrification and much higher speeds, A34 and others that ought to be M (not A) to housing stock of higher quality, proper cycle paths, sewer systems and well-functioning airports. As the wizard says above there are lessons to be learnt from other countries, but most of all it requires a willingness to invest and to completely ignore vested interests and nimbies. Therefore I can't see it happen unfortunately, politicians lack the courage. train passenger

1:08pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

12:53pm

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now arrived in Oxford to see the flooding.

He is in the Botley Road area talking to county council staff and it is understood that his next stop will be Bullstake Close.

Don't let him get too near the water, remember Archimedes principle.....;-)
12:53pm Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now arrived in Oxford to see the flooding. He is in the Botley Road area talking to county council staff and it is understood that his next stop will be Bullstake Close. Don't let him get too near the water, remember Archimedes principle.....;-) Dilligaf2010

1:18pm Tue 11 Feb 14

BigAlBiker says...

henryhs wrote:
what is the picture of at 10:10 by Alan Crowder? i cant seem to make it out.
Its a Submarine cruising down, taken by my SBS mate on undercover operations.
[quote][p][bold]henryhs[/bold] wrote: what is the picture of at 10:10 by Alan Crowder? i cant seem to make it out.[/p][/quote]Its a Submarine cruising down, taken by my SBS mate on undercover operations. BigAlBiker

1:34pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Englishman says...

Yes Wizard I agree with you. Living in Witney myself I have not seen much action by WODC. But if you let a little more water over Northmoor weir it is possible to get a lower level on the Windrush. Only trouble the Thames then has more water in it below that lock. Then bring the Evenlode and Cherwell into play and the three combined put more water into the Oxford area. Then it escalates as one goes further down the Thames. It seems that some people are now waking up and realising we need to rebuild the infrastructure in this Country before giving money to Foreigners. Let hope the Politician do the same but they seem more concerned about wasting time and money trying to stop people smoking in their cars. As for the Badger cull, don't worry they are all drowned.
Yes Wizard I agree with you. Living in Witney myself I have not seen much action by WODC. But if you let a little more water over Northmoor weir it is possible to get a lower level on the Windrush. Only trouble the Thames then has more water in it below that lock. Then bring the Evenlode and Cherwell into play and the three combined put more water into the Oxford area. Then it escalates as one goes further down the Thames. It seems that some people are now waking up and realising we need to rebuild the infrastructure in this Country before giving money to Foreigners. Let hope the Politician do the same but they seem more concerned about wasting time and money trying to stop people smoking in their cars. As for the Badger cull, don't worry they are all drowned. Englishman

2:54pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Wet Feet says...

Maybe Eric Pickles should come down Abingdon Road and have a look at where flood defence work isn't so successful!
Maybe Eric Pickles should come down Abingdon Road and have a look at where flood defence work isn't so successful! Wet Feet

3:03pm Tue 11 Feb 14

the wizard says...

Englishman wrote:
Yes Wizard I agree with you. Living in Witney myself I have not seen much action by WODC. But if you let a little more water over Northmoor weir it is possible to get a lower level on the Windrush. Only trouble the Thames then has more water in it below that lock. Then bring the Evenlode and Cherwell into play and the three combined put more water into the Oxford area. Then it escalates as one goes further down the Thames. It seems that some people are now waking up and realising we need to rebuild the infrastructure in this Country before giving money to Foreigners. Let hope the Politician do the same but they seem more concerned about wasting time and money trying to stop people smoking in their cars. As for the Badger cull, don't worry they are all drowned.
WODC put measures in place a few years back to prevent a deluge scenario hitting Witney, and others could have done the same but didn't. As per usual the people in charge of Oxford City have hidden there heads in the dark place they have always been kept and have done between naught and zero over the years, hence the age old problems keep occurring.

All the talk now of a diversion channel, why wait until now, have the last ten winters and times of above average rainfall taught them nothing. They have millions of pounds of reserves, add to that they could have approached our government and the EU for assistance in funding for such a fundamental project. The answer to the seriousness in which they view the now annual problem is the Abingdon and Botley road areas.
Ask yourselves, do these people deserve your vote ??
[quote][p][bold]Englishman[/bold] wrote: Yes Wizard I agree with you. Living in Witney myself I have not seen much action by WODC. But if you let a little more water over Northmoor weir it is possible to get a lower level on the Windrush. Only trouble the Thames then has more water in it below that lock. Then bring the Evenlode and Cherwell into play and the three combined put more water into the Oxford area. Then it escalates as one goes further down the Thames. It seems that some people are now waking up and realising we need to rebuild the infrastructure in this Country before giving money to Foreigners. Let hope the Politician do the same but they seem more concerned about wasting time and money trying to stop people smoking in their cars. As for the Badger cull, don't worry they are all drowned.[/p][/quote]WODC put measures in place a few years back to prevent a deluge scenario hitting Witney, and others could have done the same but didn't. As per usual the people in charge of Oxford City have hidden there heads in the dark place they have always been kept and have done between naught and zero over the years, hence the age old problems keep occurring. All the talk now of a diversion channel, why wait until now, have the last ten winters and times of above average rainfall taught them nothing. They have millions of pounds of reserves, add to that they could have approached our government and the EU for assistance in funding for such a fundamental project. The answer to the seriousness in which they view the now annual problem is the Abingdon and Botley road areas. Ask yourselves, do these people deserve your vote ?? the wizard

3:33pm Tue 11 Feb 14

mytaxes says...

I remember Gordon Brown promising the earth after the 2007 floods and then cutting funding to the EA. I believe Nicola Blackwood will do her best to make sure something is done.
I remember Gordon Brown promising the earth after the 2007 floods and then cutting funding to the EA. I believe Nicola Blackwood will do her best to make sure something is done. mytaxes

5:57pm Tue 11 Feb 14

the wizard says...

mytaxes wrote:
I remember Gordon Brown promising the earth after the 2007 floods and then cutting funding to the EA. I believe Nicola Blackwood will do her best to make sure something is done.
While we are all quite rightly very concerned with our own area this mess is nation wide, most communities need help to some degree, so it seems to me that a new National Rivers and Coastline protection agency needs to be set up with enough staff and on going budget until we are on top of the situation. Said agency to have the power to do things in a right and balanced manner so as to stop nimbies getting in the way and preventing progress. It is only when somebody who is rational, firm but fair and positive takes over that we will go forward as a nation. Obviously in time staffing and budget can be cut, but only when the job is done. We need a radical re think and a good look at The Netherlands and learn from them. Time for everyone to bond in together and try and make sure this doesn't happen again, and politics need to be taken out of the equation, because it rains who ever is in No 10, and all the political parties need to realize that, after all, we the tax payers are paying their wages and we want value for money from those people, not them sitting on the fence hoping it will all go away by itself.
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: I remember Gordon Brown promising the earth after the 2007 floods and then cutting funding to the EA. I believe Nicola Blackwood will do her best to make sure something is done.[/p][/quote]While we are all quite rightly very concerned with our own area this mess is nation wide, most communities need help to some degree, so it seems to me that a new National Rivers and Coastline protection agency needs to be set up with enough staff and on going budget until we are on top of the situation. Said agency to have the power to do things in a right and balanced manner so as to stop nimbies getting in the way and preventing progress. It is only when somebody who is rational, firm but fair and positive takes over that we will go forward as a nation. Obviously in time staffing and budget can be cut, but only when the job is done. We need a radical re think and a good look at The Netherlands and learn from them. Time for everyone to bond in together and try and make sure this doesn't happen again, and politics need to be taken out of the equation, because it rains who ever is in No 10, and all the political parties need to realize that, after all, we the tax payers are paying their wages and we want value for money from those people, not them sitting on the fence hoping it will all go away by itself. the wizard

6:47pm Tue 11 Feb 14

A Scroat says...

Now is really the time to stop the aid to Pakistan and other terrorist harbouring countries and fix our problems before it is too late.
Now is really the time to stop the aid to Pakistan and other terrorist harbouring countries and fix our problems before it is too late. A Scroat

9:17pm Tue 11 Feb 14

John Hatch says...

At 8.30pm on Tuesday, Kennington Road was clear of water apart from a small puddle at the foot of the slip road that gives access to the west-bound carriageway of the Southern Bypass. Vehicles could easily have got through the puddle.
However, access between Kennington and Oxford was barred by a road-block and a temporary dam which stretched across the road and was nowhere near any water.
For all the good work being done in other parts of the area, the Vale of White Horse seem to have a policy of causing serious inconvenience to motorists needing access between Kennington and Oxford. Moreover, having built their road-block, the authority officials seem to disappear and not monitor the situation.
At 8.30pm on Tuesday, Kennington Road was clear of water apart from a small puddle at the foot of the slip road that gives access to the west-bound carriageway of the Southern Bypass. Vehicles could easily have got through the puddle. However, access between Kennington and Oxford was barred by a road-block and a temporary dam which stretched across the road and was nowhere near any water. For all the good work being done in other parts of the area, the Vale of White Horse seem to have a policy of causing serious inconvenience to motorists needing access between Kennington and Oxford. Moreover, having built their road-block, the authority officials seem to disappear and not monitor the situation. John Hatch

3:52pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Cityview says...

The proposed western relief channel is costed at £123 million and there are still questions about its possible effectiveness and value for money in protecting property. All it will do is possibly move more water downstream faster towards the narrow exit from the Oxford basin at Kennington / Sandford. Best science seems to be to slow and hold water flow on flood plain so it can be discharged slower.

This is what has happened on a small scale behind the portable barriers being used by fire and rescue at the low points on Botley Road, Ferry Hinksey Rd etc. For example Oatlands Road rec is now flooded a few inches deeper but the substation in Ferry Hinksey Road has not been flooded and Osney Mead has remained open. In terms of protecting local properties, power supplies and keeping Oxford open for business these temporary barriers have been incredibly cost effective.

Surely a cheaper solution is to make these temporary barriers permanent. Replace the inflated hoses and sandbags with low waterproofed block walls along existing fence / hedge lines. Put in a couple of underground sumps and electric pumps under the road and you should be able to do the job for less than a £million. My understanding is that similar underground pumps in the dip under the Botley railway bridge have kept it dry for years.

Such a scheme could easily be in place before next winters floods.
The proposed western relief channel is costed at £123 million and there are still questions about its possible effectiveness and value for money in protecting property. All it will do is possibly move more water downstream faster towards the narrow exit from the Oxford basin at Kennington / Sandford. Best science seems to be to slow and hold water flow on flood plain so it can be discharged slower. This is what has happened on a small scale behind the portable barriers being used by fire and rescue at the low points on Botley Road, Ferry Hinksey Rd etc. For example Oatlands Road rec is now flooded a few inches deeper but the substation in Ferry Hinksey Road has not been flooded and Osney Mead has remained open. In terms of protecting local properties, power supplies and keeping Oxford open for business these temporary barriers have been incredibly cost effective. Surely a cheaper solution is to make these temporary barriers permanent. Replace the inflated hoses and sandbags with low waterproofed block walls along existing fence / hedge lines. Put in a couple of underground sumps and electric pumps under the road and you should be able to do the job for less than a £million. My understanding is that similar underground pumps in the dip under the Botley railway bridge have kept it dry for years. Such a scheme could easily be in place before next winters floods. Cityview

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