No timescale for when Suffolk road closed due to flooding can reopen
- Credit: John Huggins
Frustration has been growing among Southwold residents over a road closed due to consistent flooding over several years and the seemingly slow pace of action.
The often submerged Potter's Bridge along the B1127, was closed earlier this month until repairs can be completed - although there is no set timeframe.
Suffolk Highways was instructed to install an urgent road closure, due to road damage caused by extensive tidal flooding, which cannot be seen through flooded water.
Repairs must be completed to both the drainage valves and the road before the closure can be removed. Regular inspections will be undertaken but Suffolk Highways was unable to provide timescales as to when the repairs will be completed.
Southwold resident and campaigner against the flooding John Huggins said the small river that runs underneath the road at Potter's Bridge used to go through a sluice which has been taken away by coastal erosion.
Mr Huggins said: "Because of sand movement and the fact it is a small river, it gets blocked up. That's basically what's happened now, it's completely blocked up, the water level rises on the marshes and the road get flooded."
Suffolk Coastal MP Thérèse Coffey said: “I am aware that this has been an ongoing issue on this particular road for several years and I have previously raised concerns with Suffolk County Council and the Environment Agency.
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"I understand that the Environment Agency has not been able to access the land near Potters Bridge to undertake remedial action. I encourage the county council to proactively take this up and resolve it.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We work with Natural England to control water levels on Easton Broad, to reduce flooding on the B1127 by draining the water and to help protect the wetland for breeding birds.
“People should know their flood risk and sign up for free flood warnings by going to www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188."
The Environment Agency recently constructed a footbridge to allow full pedestrian access for beach walkers during times when the Broad is draining.
In order to continue to carry out the drainage work The agency need access to private land and have been discussing this with the landowner.