6 April 2010, 00:00
Flooding in Beyton should soon be a thing of the past as Suffolk County Council begins the first phase of work to alleviate the long-standing problem.
Flooding occurs following heavy rain and snow melting and causes difficulties for local residents and those trying to use the junction onto the A14.
The problem arises because the ditch at the side of the road is not big enough and overflows when there is too much water.
With no-one having a legal responsibility to provide a solution, until recently there has been reluctance for anyone to do anything about it However, Suffolk County Council took the lead in bringing the district and parish councils, the Highways Agency, the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and local landowners together to find a solution.
"Working on the problem at Beyton has helped the county council understand the causes and potential solutions to this sort of problem and will make us better able to tackle similar problems elsewhere in the county, which will become our responsibility when the new Flood and Water Management Bill is enacted" says Councillor Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning.
The first phase of the work will start today and involves clearing the ditch from the roadside and raising the level of a short stretch of the road. The latter will involve closing the road for a couple of days in the following week. The second phase of the work to widen the northern section of the watercourse will take place later in the year, after harvest.
It wasn't possible to get the water to flow away downstream without increasing the risk of flooding in parts of Thurston, so the solution proposed is enlarge the ditch to hold more water in situ.
Suffolk County Council (whose headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich are pictured here) will be undertaking the work but would not be able to do so without contributions from Mid Suffolk District Council, the Highways Agency, parish councils and the local landowner, as well as practical help and advice from the Environment Agency and Anglian Water. Both Beyton and Thurston Parish Councils have promised contributions towards the work.