York Council to receive update report on 5 year flood plan

Naburn Weir

A meeting taking place on 3rd July will receive an update report on the progress made in reducing flooding risks in York.

The meeting will also receive reports on addressing flooding problems in Fulford and on plans to make significant changes to Osbaldwick beck in the Hull Road park area.

The flooding in late December 2015 followed an intense period of rainfall across November and December due to the impacts of Storms Desmond and Eva.

Record river levels were observed in many river catchments across the north of England. More than 4000 homes and 2000 businesses flooded across Yorkshire with 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York.

Funding was allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) following the floods to renew existing and provide new flood defences across the city.

£17m has been allocated to the Foss Barrier improvements and £45m to the wider flood defences across the city.

The Environment Agency has provided a summary report for the meeting and also an analysis of options for changes to Naburn Weir

Naburn Weir

Cycle hub set to become Environment Agency floods showroom

The Environment Agency say they want to establish a permanent exhibition of flood defence works at the former cycle repair workshop in Wellington Row.

They say that the show room would be open “2 or 3” days a week

They have submitted a “change of use” planning application

The showroom would be located only metres away from a key flood defence gate that is closed when the Ouse threatens to overtop its banks

What a difference a year makes


Flood warnings 26th Dec 2015

It’s exactly a year since it became clear that something was going very wrong with the flood defences on the River Foss

. Few, including the media and the Council, initially reacted to the warnings issued by the Environment Agency but by 6:00pm properties were being inundated.

The Foss barrier pumps had failed.

A year later and residents are still waiting for the independent report into the flood to be published

However, this year the weather is much better No flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency 

& Christmas Day this year was one of the warmest on record as these photos illustrate


York - Selby cycle tarck 25th Dec 2016

York – Selby cycle track 25th Dec 2016

Rainbow over Acomb 25th Dec 2016

Rainbow over Acomb 25th Dec 2016



Quiet in York centre this Christmas Eve …. so far

It’s been a quiet start to Christmas Eve. Morning storms appear to have passed by now, leaving a  lot of surface water on roads and footpaths where drains are blocked. There are particular problems on Mount Vale, under the Leeman Road railway bridges and on Carr Lane.

Only a few people have ventured into the City centre and there are car parking spaces available in most car parks. They may however fill up quickly this afternoon as public transport begins to wind down.

The St Nicholas fair is now closed although the Shambles Market is doing some brisk business.

There is a lot of tree detritus and fallen leaves on the paths so care is required.


Shambles (Newgate) market is open

The St Nicholas Fair has ended

The St Nicholas Fair has ended

Slippery leaves pose a threat for unwary pedestrians and cyclists

Slippery leaves pose a threat for unwary pedestrians and cyclists

Innovative forms of transport may be needed later today

Innovative forms of transport may be needed later today






No immediate flooding fears in York despite heavy rain

York river level guages remain within normal limits despite recent heavy rain.

You can check river levels at the following web site http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Map

Click to access river level guages

Click to access river level guages

Meanwhile the Environment Agency have confirmed details of the flood prevention project exhibitions that they plan for the City.

The exhibitions will take place on Friday and Saturday


Five year action plan to reduce flood risk in York

Residents get only one weeks notice of new exhibition

York flood 2012The Environment Agency has announced a new five-year action plan to better protect the City of York against flooding. It provides more details of how physical flood barriers will be improved following the announcement last March of a £45 million budget for the work

The Environment Agency’s plans emerged only today – just one week before a two-day exhibition of the proposals takes place.

The plans have not been published “on line” yet

The exhibition will take place at Hotel 53 in Piccadilly, York, between 12 and 7pm on Friday November 25 and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday November 26.

No implementation timetable for the improvements has been released but it could be a decade before all work has been completed.

Sources at the York Council criticised the Agency for failing to agree a coordinated communications plan for the proposals which sets out options to reduce the risk of flooding to 2,000 properties across 10 York communities.

The schemes would affect

  • Clifton/RawcliffeLatest 0917 27th Dec 2015 copy
  • Holgate Beck
  • Poppleton
  • Foss
  • City Centre
  • Osbaldwick & Tang Hall Beck
  • Clementhorpe
  • Fulford and Germany beck
  • Bishopthorpe
  • Naburn and Acaster Malbis

The plan looks at a range of potential flood reduction measures including the creation of storage areas, increasing pumping capacity, raising and building new walls, raising land and building embankments.

Following the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 which affected over 600 properties in York, the Government committed £45 million to reduce flood risk and increase resilience to at least 2,000 properties at risk and keep the city open for business during major floods.

The agency stresses that its proposals are not final, and will need to win public support, be technically feasible and affordable.

It wants to know what residents think at its exhibition next week.

Earlier in the week, delays in presenting an independent inquiry report into the 2015 floods attracted criticism

York Flood Inquiry verdict not expected until next year

Floods cost City £3.3 million

Floods cost City £3.3 million

It seems that over 12 months will have elapsed between the Boxing Day 2015 flooding crisis in York and the earliest date that changes to flood response practices in the City could be implemented.

The Council now says that its Executive will not consider the report of an independent floods inquiry until 26th January 2017.

The Inquiry was set up last Spring by the Council with a budget of £50,000. It was expected to deliver an early verdict on the performance of the authorities in dealing with the floods which devastated many parts of the City which lay near the Foss.

The performance of the Council itself on the 26th and 27th December was subject to criticism, with communications and relief work largely in the hands of the emergency services and volunteers on those days. There was no useful advice on the Councils web site at that time although information was updated later.

Nearly 12 months after the floods some businesses are only now reopening.

In the interim the Environment Agency have fitted powerful new pumps at the Foss Barrier while work to protect Leeman Road has been finished. Some local watercourses like the Tang Hall Beck have been cleared of debris by volunteers.

But large areas of the City remain vulnerable if a combination of melting snow and falling rain causes the Ouse to break its banks.

The York Disaster Fund – established to deal with emergencies of this nature – was also ineffective in the first week of the crisis and even now has only distributed around half of the £1.3 million raised by donations.

The Independent Inquiry has been taking evidence from the public over the last couple of months.

It’s membership – a Barrister and two water industry professionals – has been criticised for lacking local authority/emergency planning expertise.

So, what they will conclude is anyone’s guess.

However clearly when flooding does occur – as it will – the City needs to be quicker and more professional in its response

We can only hope that there are no major floods in the city before February at the earliest!

Concerned residents can find more information by clicking these links: