Months of flood resilience work explained in Tadcaster

Repair work at Tadcaster bridge is due to be completed before the end of the year.
Repair work at Tadcaster bridge is due to be completed before the end of the year.

A package of measures aimed at avoiding a repeat of the severe flooding that split a North Yorkshire community in half are to be explained to the public at an event this weekend.

Up to 79 properties, including 36 residential properties and 43 businesses flooded in Tadcaster town centre in the Boxing Day floods, with both surface water flooding and an overwhelmed sewer system contributing to the damage before the town’s riverside flood defences failed.

Those surface water and sewage flooding threats, as well as repairs to Tadcaster’s Grade II listed road bridge through the centre of the market town, have been the focus of measures taken by North Yorkshire County Council to combat the flood threat since. And that work, undertaken with the local community, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency, will be set out by the council at a flood advice fair in Tadcaster on Sunday.

Since the floods, the county council has worked with agencies and the Tadcaster Emergency Action Group to better understand what causes the town to flood, with local engineering consultants JBA tasked with compiling a report.

Councillor Chris Metcalfe, county council member for Tadcaster, said: “We want people to know that we have carried out a lot of work this year to understand the way flooding works in Tadcaster and to improve the town’s resilience against flooding.

“This work will continue, even after the bridge is rebuilt, to make sure that Tadcaster is as prepared as it can be to deal with any future flooding events.”

Improvement works to date have included cleaning out the local drainage system; working with businesses to prevent blockages and increase surface water capacity, and the funding for a place from which emergency pumps can be effectively and safely operated.

Yorkshire Water has also started a two-year study of Tadcaster’s sewage and drainage systems to identify where best in the system to invest in improvements.

A recently approved enhancement to the Tadcaster Bridge repair scheme is being funded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

Selby Council approved the widening of the bridge and subsequently rejected an objection from local brewer Samuel Smith’s which claimed the scheme contradicted planning policy.

The repairs are due to be finished by December.