Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Rat run drivers targeted at B478 at Playhatch

A FLOOD-DAMAGED road is to be fenced off with concrete to stop drivers using it as a rat run.

The blocks are to be placed at the Playhatch entrance to the B478, which runs between the roundabout to the south of the village and Sonning Eye.

The road has been shut except for local access since last week following weeks of flooding.

The water has eroded the ground beneath the tarmac and the road has started to collapse.

Temporary traffic lights are in place around the damaged areas and there are metal signs telling drivers to seek another route.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said many drivers had been ignoring the signs so more drastic measures were needed.

David Nimmo Smith, county councillor for Henley, said: “The blocks are likely to remain there until the work is carried out but I don’t yet know how long that will be.

“We did an assessment after the first floods and were all set to carry out repairs but then it flooded again.

“Now that the river levels are dropping, we can see there has been more erosion and the road is being undercut.

“We need the levels to drop a little further so we can investigate the extent of the damage. We know it has got worse but don’t know how much worse.

“As a resident of Henley, I am certainly keen to see that road open again as soon as possible. We will keep people updated as more information becomes available.”

He said that residents, refuse trucks and emergency vehicles would still have access.

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