Oxford Flood Relief Channel


29th February 2016

The Environment Agency has been consulting on plans for a large flood relief channel to the West of Oxford, but is this really an opportunity to think about the whole upper catchment and how best to manage it for people and nature?

The Environment Agency (EA) consultation on route options for the flood relief channel closes on 1 March – see the EA website.

The western flood plain of the Thames around Oxford is an essential part of the historic entrance and landscape of Oxford.  

The repeated severe flooding on the Abingdon Road in recent years is clearly a considerable problem and measures must be taken to reduce, if not eliminate, the events. However, the expense and disruption of the planned channel (which ever option is adopted) are considerable and CPRE believes that other options have not been sufficiently explored. Current thinking on flood protection adopts a ‘whole catchment approach’.

We would like to see a comprehensive study of the whole of the upper Thames (and tributaries) to explore the contribution to flood management of restoration (and enhancement) of the historic flood plains and water meadows of the upper Thames.

It is of course self-evident that there should be no further industrial or domestic development within the flood plains of the Thames basin.

See CPRE Oxfordshire’s response in full below.