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Blog: Oxfordshire flooding latest, Wednesday, January 8
Updated 6:17am Thursday 9th January 2014 in News
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- Botley Road is still shut this morning
- Abingdon Road is also still closed today
- There has been more rain overnight
- More flooding is expected in Oxfordshire this week
- Homes are being evacuated around Botley Road
- Special train timetables have been issued
A new blog has been set up this morning to cover flooding this Thursday. That's it for the Wednesday blog. Stay safe.
Botley Road is still shut this morning, as is Abingdon Road.
Another delivery of sandbags arrived at the Duke of Monmouth pub in Oxford's Abingdon Road about an hour ago.
For an expert demonstration of how to build a sandbag wall to protect your home, scroll down this blog to 1.47pm, where you will find a video featuring Oxfordshire firefighters, which was shot for the Oxford Mail during previous flooding in the county.
Stagecoach says that it is anticipating delays on bus services running in Oxford on Thursday due to continuing road closures caused by flooding but it will aim to operate as many services as possible to normal timetables.
Alterations and diversions are expected to be similar to those that applied on Wednesday.
The Met Office tonight says rain is predicted in the Oxford area between 9pm this evening and 3am tomorrow.
Another image of Abingdon Road in Oxford tonight - this one from Sally Copley, campaigns director of Oxfam.
Train operator First Great Western will continue to operate special timetables tomorrow in Oxfordshire due to flooding of the tracks at Redbridge limiting the number of trains able to run between Oxford and Didcot Parkway.
The pattern of services will be as follows:
Oxford-Didcot Parkway: a half-hourly shuttle service will operate every 30 minutes from 5.37am between Oxford and Didcot Parkway in both directions, with trains calling at Radley, Culham and Appleford in both directions. Connections can be made at Didcot for Reading, London, the West of England and South Wales
Oxford-Worcester Shrub Hill via the Cotswold Line: An hourly shuttle service will operate, with the first departure from Oxford to Worcester at 5.20am, then hourly until 9.20pm and from Worcester to Oxford at 6.55pm then hourly until 10.55pm. A free bus will convey passengers between Shrub Hill and Foregate Street stations in Worcester.
Westbound trains will call to the following pattern: Services depart Oxford at 20 minutes past the hour calling at Hanborough (xx29), Charlbury (xx37), Kingham (xx47), Moreton-in-Marsh (xx58), Honeybourne (xx09), Evesham (xx20), Pershore (xx28) and Worcester Shrub Hill (xx44).
Eastbound trains will call as follows: Departing Worcester Shrub Hill at 55 minutes past the hour, calling at Pershore (xx06), Evesham (xx18), Honeybourne (xx26), Moreton-in-Marsh (xx39), Kingham (xx47), Charlbury (xx59), Hanborough (xx07) and Oxford (xx18).
Oxford-Banbury: Services will run to a modified timetable. FGW stopping services calling at Tackley, Heyford and Kings Sutton will run at normal times, but CrossCountry will only run an hourly service between Oxford, Banbury and the West Midlands. It has suspended services between Oxford and Reading for the time being.
London Midland, Cross Country and Arriva trains are accepting First Great Western tickets on reasonable routes during the disruption.
FGW is advising passengers from Oxford and Cotswold Line stations to travel to and from London via Banbury, changing there for Chiltern Railways trains to and from London Marylebone due to limited capacity on the Oxford-Didcot shuttles.
Chiltern Railways will run normal services between Oxford, Islip and Bicester Town and on its mainline services between London, Haddenham & Thame Parkway, Bicester North, Banbury and Birmingham.
For timetable information, see nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 484950.
For updates on FGW services, see the firm's JourneyCheck page.
The Environment Agency has today said: “The Environment Agency is urging communities along the River Thames to remain vigilant and be prepared to take action as further flooding is expected.”
It said Thames water levels are continuing to rise.
Regional duty manager Simon Hughes said: “I would urge communities not to delay in taking action, particularly along the River Thames below Oxford, into Berkshire and through Surrey. Levels are high and will continue to rise for the next few days and, while our staff are working hard to provide up-to-the-minute information for the public, local authorities and emergency services, people need to start taking action now. “
OXFORD’S MPs have called for more action to help tackle the city’s problem with foul water flooding.
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith has today been out and about in South Oxford meeting residents who had been affected by flooding.
He said: “There is a serious situation in Western Road and some adjoining streets, where surface water can’t get away and is flooding lower level rooms. It is also putting pressure on the sewerage drains, so that foul contaminated water is coming up in some of the houses and gardens.
“I have got onto Thames Water and urged them to bring in additional pumping capacity to tackle the situation.”
Meanwhile Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has said she plans to meet with Thames Water to get answers over drainage problems faced by some residents during the floods.
She said: “The big thing for me is talking about drainage infrastructure. We cannot have a situation where residents are facing sewage coming into their homes. It is not acceptable.”
Thames Water spokesman Stuart White said: “Recent heavy rain has meant floodwater is going into our sewers, which are designed to take only wastewater from homes and businesses, not rivers too. Our network is under a lot of strain.
“We sympathise deeply with people affected by flooding, and are doing everything we can to help where possible. Unfortunately, pumping water away in this heavily flooded area would be impossible, due to the sheer volume – it would just be pumping the river back into the river.
“We’re doing what we can to support the local authority, Environment Agency and other flood response teams who are responding to the current situation.”
Heavy rain tonight across the Cotswold hills and in the Banbury area is topping up brooks feeding the rivers that run though Oxford.
There is still extensive flooding of fields along the River Cherwell from above Banbury to Oxford, along the Evenlode Valley from Kingham to Cassington and the course of the River Windrush from Burford to Newbridge, where the river meets the Thames.
More flooding is coming to Oxfordshire in the next few days.
The Environment Agency said in a statement that communities along the River Thames throughout Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire are at risk of flooding in "the next few days."
Some incredible tales of people battling on through adversity in the flooding today, real community spirit #oxfordshire— @Keeley_Rodgers 08 January 2014
Think it's safe to say Oxfordshire is in for more flooding— @GreigC22 08 January 2014
water is still rising on Botley road - bad news We have a monster truck to ensure our staff can get into work and serve you - good news!— @RootsofOxford 08 January 2014
Environment Agency officers have tonight been checking flood defences in the Osney Court area off Botley Road as residents are advised to leave their properties.
Botley road flooded? How will I get to school on Friday? I need to bus there & back... Hope the levels fall by then, but u never know :(— @SamuelHerklots 08 January 2014
The traffic in the city this evening was very busy. With Botley Road shut, Woodstock Road and Banbury Road from St Giles until their exits out of the city were severely congested. Many road-users were turning back - but the reality is there are very few other routes from there to take if you want to get out of Oxford.
Lamarsh Road in Oxford has been flooded all day - and it still is tonight, as this image from reader Ashley Pilbeam demonstrates.
Tweeter WinsgroveUK took this picture today in Somerton, about six miles outside Bicester:
This breath-taking picture of the Thames in Abingdon from reader Nicola Welland shows that the flooding has in some ways been very picturesque;
Abingdon Road has been closed for a couple of days. Is the floodwater easing off? No - as this image tonight from reader Matthew Sherrington shows:
Danielle Oliver sent in these stunning pictures of Botley Park from Henry Road taken this morning
South Oxfordshire District Council has said sandbags are available from:
• Abingdon – Cattle Market car park, next to the council offices at Abbey House
• Abingdon – B&Q, Fairacres retail park
• Crowmarsh – from the South Oxfordshire District Council office car park, Benson Lane
• Henley – from Kings Road car park.
• If your bins aren't emptied on your scheduled collection day leave them on the roadside and crews will attempt to pick them up the following day. The adjusted Christmas calendar is in effect at the moment, so your collection day will be different.
• The Biffa street cleaning crews are currently working into the evening to assist with the filling and distribution of sandbags. These crews would normally be deployed to help the waste collection crews catch up after delays.
Ellie Collins sent us these flood pictures from around Botley Road, she said there are lots of sandbags still waiting for collection in PC World.
The scene near Osney Court, Oxford, this evening with fire crews from Kidlington preparing inflatable boats to evacuate residents from their homes
Alan and Dee Coleman in Osney Court, Oxford, waiting to be evacuated from their home tonight
Another picture from St Giles, Oxford, tonight
Gridlock in St Giles, Oxford, this evening, motorists reporting delays of up to an hour to get through the city centre
Wonder where the gloomy, anoymous picture from 2.09pm was taken?
Reader Dennis Jackson thinks he knows: "Although I didn't take the unidentified picture listed at 2:09pm I recognise the location ... it is the junction of Preston Road and Wilsham Road in Abingdon. The boats are moored in the Thames and in the distance are the flooded fields between the river and the A415."
Tony Jenkinson from the Duke of Monmouth pub in Abingdon Road says they have just had 150 sandbags dropped off
Motorists are facing a long drive home out of Oxford tonight. It is taking an hour to get up Banbury Road, one commuter has told the Mail.
First Great Western has warned that conditions will remain unchanged until at least Friday. More commuter disruption is expected.
First Great Western says that it anticipates there will be disruption to its train services due to flooding at Redbridge in Oxford until at least Friday.
Special flood timetables are in operation between Oxford and Didcot Parkway and on the Cotswold Line to Worcester.
For the latest information, see firstgreatwestern.co.uk
Peter Haslehurst took this shot of flooding in Binsey
Darren Wilson sent in these pictures of flooding in the Botley Road area
Matthew Ledbury sent in these pictures of the Isis Farmhouse, near Iffley Lock, this afternoon.
Jonathan Pryce, who runs the Isis Farmhouse with his wife, tells us that water levels there are now at their highest since 1947, surpassing the marks seen in 2012, 2007 and 2003.
But there's still 46 cm to go to match the river level reached in 1947, which is marked by a flood mark on the bar.
Oxford City Council has informed residents of Bullstake Close, Duke Street, Earl Street and Osney Court in West Oxford that rising water levels "will probably overwhelm the existing defences" and that their homes may flood.
In a letter given out to those in the area the city council says: "Teams are working around the clock, all flooding defences are in place and pumping is being done at key risk points.
"The Environment Agency has predicted that the water levels will continue to rise over the next 24 hours."
Advice issued by the council is:
- You move any valuable belongings off the ground floor and consider what you will do with your car if it is not in use - please bear in mind that emergency services may need access.
- Make arrangements to vacate your home for at least a few days
- Check with any insurer whether the cost of temporary accommodation will be covered - if not, then there is a reception centre, Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, where we will assess your requirements and assist you in finding accommodation - transport will be provided for those who need it.
- If you can, block airbricks, protect doorways, put down toilet bungs for ground floor lavatories.
- Switch off your electricity and gas.
Residents of Osney Court in Botley Road have told the Oxford Mail that they are being offered alternative accommodation by housing association Home Group, though the company has not yet confirmed this.
Resident Steven Church, 64, said: "The housing officer came round today and gave us the option of moving to a hotel.
“They said they could not guarantee that the water will go down and that if we wait the council may evacuate us from the premises.
“I am on my own and have decided to stay, though I expect the water will rise further.
“The housing association has been brilliant, really helpful, the entire time.
“They have been in most days to check on us and have made pathways through the water for people to use.”
Stagecoach bus company has tweeted: "We are starting to experience heavy traffic going out of the city, Woodstock Road heavily congested."
We've had a call from a reader who has said water is flowing out of a pipe "like a fountain" near the Redbridge Car park off the Abingdon Road.
- Anyone in the area who would like to (safely) take or send in a photo of the development can email it to email@example.com
First Great Western says that due to limited capacity on its shuttle train services between Oxford and Didcot Parkway, passengers travelling from London to Oxford and the Cotswold Line this evening should travel on Chiltern Railways services from London Marylebone to Banbury and change there for Oxford.
Chiltern Railways is accepting FGW tickets on its services.
An hourly FGW shuttle train service is operating on the Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester.
A First Great Western Turbo train reaches dry ground again at the south end of Hinksey sidings in Oxford this afternoon after passing through flood water on its way from Didcot to Oxford
CrossCountry trains has suspended services between Oxford and Didcot but a reduced service is still operating between Oxford, Banbury and Birmingham.
FGW said it was unable to operate additional road transport between Oxford and Didcot, due to road closures and congestion caused by flooding.
Residents on Osney Court, Oxford, are being evacuated from their homes. More to follow.
Nicola Blackwood, Oxford West and Abingdon MP, has said she plans to meet with Thames Water to get answers over drainage problems faced by some residents during the floods.
She said: “The big thing for me is talking about drainage infrastructure. We cannot have a situation where residents are facing sewage coming into their homes. It is not acceptable.”
But the Conservative said residents had been better prepared for flooding this time. She said an action plan in South Hinksey had seen flood prevention work put in place quicker.
She said: "The big lesson for local residents is what a difference it makes if you are prepared."
But she added: "For sad reasons we do seem to be responding better both in terms of the local communities preparedness in knowing what to do, and in the way the different agencies respond."
First Great Western has tweeted: "Flooding in Radley causing disruption between Didcot Parkway and Oxford is likely to affect services until at least Friday."
Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood said: “I’d like to thank the staff of the Environment Agency, who alongside the emergency services and local councils have been working round the clock to get out the flood defences and protect our communities.
"It has been a terrible few days for local residents, yet despite everything they have worked tirelessly together to help reduce the damage.
“Whilst it is pleasing to see that flood defence measures are holding in many cases, there is still more work to be done. Yet again this year some properties have been flooded and countless more residents have been affected by disruption from leaking sewage, closed roads and even delayed trains.
"I will continue to put pressure on the Government, response agencies and utility companies to improve and strengthen our flood defences going forward.”
Flood barriers in West Street, Oxford
Botley Road this afternoon
Labour Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: "I have been calling round South Oxford this morning with City Council Leader Bob Price, talking with residents hit by the flooding and seeing the situation on the ground at first hand.
"There is a serious situation in Western Road and some adjoining streets, where surface water can’t get away and is flooding lower level rooms.
"It is also putting pressure on the sewerage drains, so that foul contaminated water is coming up in some of the houses and gardens.
"I have got onto Thames Water and urged them to bring in additional pumping capacity to tackle the situation.
"A Thames Water tanker is in Western Road, but it can only do one or two houses at a time, and more pumping capacity is needed as a matter of priority, both to get surface water away and to relieve the pumping station in Whitehouse Road.
“People are understandably upset and worried. One resident I spoke with said his wife was in tears, couldn’t bear to be in the house and they would be selling up and moving later in the year when this is over. It brings home to the very distressing personal impact of this flooding.
“The barrier by Hinksey Lake and the pumping operation there is so far holding the line, providing protection for the Vicarage Road and Lake Street area (which flooded badly in 2007).
"The City Council were delivering additional sandbags while we were there. It looked to me to be a finely balanced situation, and we must hope water levels stop rising. I spoke with the Environment Agency people on site there who said a lot will depend on water still coming downstream and how much rainfall there is in the next couple of days.
“Bob Price and I are concerned that some traffic is still trying to get through Abingdon Road, creating bow waves which threaten houses which are otherwise dry, though gardens and surrounds are flooded.
“All in all, I think the Environment Agency, Thames Water and City Council staff on the ground are doing a good job, and we thanked them, but they are very stretched. We need more pumping capacity. We also need a proper long term solution to the problems in Western Road.”
Latest warning from the Environment Agency:
"Stay away from dangerous flood water. It contains hidden dangers e.g. lifted manhole covers."
Witney MP and PM David Cameron has not said a great deal so far about flooding in Oxfordshire. We remain to see whether he will today. But in the Commons today, he said this about the general state of play:
"In all these circumstances, no matter how good the preparation, there are always lessons to learn and I think there are lessons to learn on this occasion.
"On the positive side, the Environment Agency warning service worked better than it has in the past, the flood defences did protect up to a million homes over the December and Christmas period.
"But there are some negatives there and we need to learn lessons - particularly some of the energy companies did not have enough people over the holiday period for emergency response."
Reports that Sandy Lane has been closed from the roundabout on the A44 due to major sewage works.
Another flooding image from the county from a reader by the name of "Perry". No details on where it is are attached, but it's a gloomy scene nonetheless.
Reader Wojtek Lubowiecki saw this stranded car this morning in Summertown.
Tweeter @domsdads took this image this morning of flood-afflicted Botley Road from the McDonalds car park.
In Crowmarsh Gifford, the pavilion is surrounded by water.
Reader John Talbot has tweeted this picture.
The 2003 flood mark is shown on the path.
Flooding is affecting Hinksey Park on Abingdon Road - so says tweeter Donna Dixon, who has tweeted this image:
The scene outside McDonald's in Botley Road
If you need guidance on how to build a sandbag wall to protect your property, here's how. The video was made for the Oxford Mail in 2008 with help of Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service during a previous bout of flooding in Oxfordshire.
A county council worker on the ground in Botley Road, who didn't want to be named, said water seems to be coming in from floodplains in nearby fields.
He doesn't think it will be reopened today, or tomorrow - but said that ultimately the highways agency will probably make the decision.
Is flooding in Iffley lock at its highest level?
One reader says not.
The anonymous - and informed - emailer says: "Your blog says that the EA said level at Iffley lock is the highest ever at 3.80m.
"This is not true! It is the highest reading since their electrical telemetry was installed!"
Fair point? They've done their history and say the 1947 flood in Oxford was much higher than the floods that we have had in recent years - probably 40-50cm higher than today's reading.
"We have been fortunate in recent years that floods in Oxford have been MUCH lower than the great floods of e.g. 1947 and 1894," they said.
CrossCountry trains between Oxford and Reading are cancelled and replacement buses have been put on. Trains between London Paddington and Banbury will run between Oxford and Banbury only.
National Rail Enquiries says: "Stopping services between London Paddington and Oxford will not run between Didcot Parkway and Oxford.
"Fast services (non-stop) are generally cancelled.
"An amended train service will run: from Didcot Parkway to Oxford at 26 and 57 minutes past the hour. From Oxford to Didcot Parkway at 7 and 37 minutes past the hour. Between Oxford and Worcester Shrub Hill."
City council workers on the scene in Bullstake Close, Oxford, have said the water pressure has pushed back the sandbags.
More have just been delivered and they are building the barrier up.
Linda Wride has sent in this picture of their new neighbours in Botley Park at the end of Henry Road
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, speaking from Western Road in South Oxford, says: “There is a serious problem with surface water not getting away. There are flooded basements and some residents are affected by sewage coming up.”
Oxfordshire County Council’s current advice on sandbags is: "The county and city council have deployed sandbag dumps in the city at Seacourt and Redbridge Park and Ride sites.
"Sandbag pallets are being delivered to the Duke of Monmouth public house on Abingdon Road and also South Hinksey Village (farm opposite the village hall).
"Bags have also been delivered to Henley (King's Road car park), Sutton Courtenay, Kennington and Dorchester."
Janet Mills, of Osney Court in West Oxford, said the housing association the Home Group had “bent over backwards” to help the elderly people hit by flooding in the block.
The 67-year-old officers had been collecting their rubbish and had offered to do shopping and even pay the electricity meters to keep the homes connected to power.
She said: "They have visited us at least twice a day. They have been over and above board. They have been fantastic."
CrossCountry trains between Reading and Oxford have now been suspended because of flooding at Radley.
Some services will stop at Birmingham New Street. Passengers may use a shuttle bus service that is being provided between Reading and Oxford.
- Automatic updates will be posted on our Live Traffic Service
First Great Western has tweeted this picture of flooding on the line near Oxford
Frankie Pacey sent in this image of Rye Farm car park in Abingdon, open? We doubt it.
Oxfordshire County Council says it has given out 3,300 sand bags.
Rosie Dennington, 22, from Eynsham, assistant manager of the Cancer Research shop in Botley Road, Oxford, said: "Two of us have managed to get in.
"My bus from home stopped at the end of Botley Road today, so I had to take off my tights and wade through the water to get in to work because the last thing I wanted was wet tights.
"I don't think we'll get many customers today but we have had a few his morning.
"I hope they don't shut the toll bridge later, because that would make getting home difficult."
A reader sent in this picture of the problems causing delays to trains from Oxford.
McDonald's on Botley Road is shut today.
First Great Western has tweeted: "Fast trains between Didcot and Oxford, and Paddington and Oxford are cancelled. Stopping services are running every 30 minutes."
Iffley Lock Oxford is at its highest ever level at 3.6 metres, the Environment Agency has said.
It said the 10am reading beat the 3.58 metre reading on December 27, 2012.
The Oxford Bus Company says that its services in Abingdon are suffering severe delays and Thames Travel has given an update on its services as follows:
X39/X40, X1 and X2 are all diverted in Oxford via Iffley Road due to the closure of Abingdon Road.
The X1 is also affected by a road closure between Sutton Courtney and Drayton, with diversions in place.
Routes 94 and 95 services cannot serve Blewbury due to road closures.
Route 97 cannot serve stops between Clifton Hampden and Ladygrove due to a road closure at Long Wittenham.
Buses are diverting via Abingdon and Milton Park to Didcot.
The diversions mean journey times will be extended.
Traffic on the High Street has now backed up for most its length.
Stagecoach says that buses on route S2 between Carterton and Oxford are now running on their normal route, via Minster Lovell and Witney, but due to the road closures and congestion in Oxford, services will suffer delays.
The scene along the River Thames in East Street, Oxford, this morning
RT @OxfordshireCC: Running total of sandbags issued by the county council is 3300— @MotoClark 08 January 2014
Reports coming in that the Milton Interchange on the A34 is now clear following earlier delays
Chris D'Agorne captured this image of the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue team at Sandford-on-Thames, just south of the Kings Arms pub and their lock
Reports that Iffley Road is at a standstill
Even if the roads around Oxford are clogged up, train services are still operating in and out of the city on all routes.
- A half-hourly First Great Western shuttle service is running between Oxford and Didcot, where passengers can make connections to and from Reading, London, the West of England and South Wales. The shuttle trains are calling at Radley, Culham and Appleford.
- An hourly FGW shuttle service is running on the Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester, serving Hanborough, Charlbury and Kingham stations in West Oxfordshire.
- FGW local trains between Oxford and Banbury are operating to a normal timetable, serving Tackley, Heyford and Kings Sutton stations.
- CrossCountry trains are operating between Oxford and Reading and Oxford and Banbury, with some delays due to flood water on the tracks in the Hinksey and Kennington area.
- Chiltern Railways is operating a normal timetable between Oxford, Islip and Bicester Town.
For train times, see the National Rail website or call 08457 484950.
The Electrical Safety Council is issuing a warning in Oxfordshire.
The charity is urging all residents whose homes have been affected by high water levels to take care when cleaning up, especially around electricity which can cause further damage or put people at risk.
“When faced with flooding damage, it can be tempting to jump straight in as it’s natural to want things back to normal as quickly as possible”, said Penny Walshe from the Electrical Safety Council.
"But it is important to make sure your home is electrically safe before you do anything else."
@TheOxfordMail @BloomsburyBell Just taken me 1 hr 40 mins to do 20 miles from Didcot!!— @Dugster71 08 January 2014
RT @AndyBold: When they said "Delays between Oxford and Didcot due to flooding" they weren't kidding. http://t.co/n9ktDHx6Sn— @LesleyWhitaker2 08 January 2014
Magenta Storage in Botley Road is offering free storage for anyone affected by the flooding who needs to move personal items.
Branch Manager, Jeremy Parsons said: "We can offer free storage for all flood victims within Oxford up to 12 weeks free storage to help those in need."
Motorists coming in from Abingdon to Oxford are facing some of the worst journeys in. One reader has been delayed by at least an hour and has had to park at some distance from the city centre in order to get in
More images of the scene on Botley Road from the picture editor.
Picture editor Leah McLaren has been on Botley Road this morning. These images give a sense of what it is like there.
The A44 is severely clogged up. One reader who left Combe to get into the city at 7.30am said the traffic was too severe. "I've turned around to go back home," he said.
First Great Western trains which normally run between Banbury and London Paddington via Oxford are only operating between Banbury and Oxford today.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has only taken one flooding-related call this morning.
One firefighter has gone to a property in West End, Witney, after being called at 8.40am.
A spokesman said they have gone to the property to find out whether the flooding will be an issue.
Oxfordshire County Council is urging people to use public transport to get around Oxford today.
The authority has said traffic in the city is “bound to remain challenging” with both Botley Road and Abingdon Road closed.
Reporter Mark Taylor is also out and about this morning. He tweeted to say: "Mayhem on roads esp near Botley Rd bridge but @OxfordBusCo drivers incredibly helpful today in face of very difficult circumstances."
At the A34 between Milton Interchange and Hinksey Hill, it is taking 45 minutes to travel in.
Stagecoach's S2 bus service between Carterton and Oxford is running as an express service only in both directions.
The buses will not serve Witney or Minster Lovell. Passengers for Minster Lovell need to use the 233 from Witney or the bus stops by the A40 junction.
Passengers travelling between Witney and Oxford should use the S1.
David Bosley sent us this picture of the River Thames at Wallingford, taken from the bypass bridge, just up from where the OU boat club train
Mail reporter Gill Oliver has taken this picture this morning at PC World on Botley Road.
There are major delays on the A34.
TomTom traffic bosses say there are 60 minute delays on the A44 heading towards Oxford.
Tailbacks are four miles long from the A4095 Bladon roundabout to the A34 at Pear Tree interchange and the A40 at Wolvercote roundabout.
University college and Corpus Christi sports ground in Abingdon Road this morning.
The towpath from Osney Lock towards Iffley is waterlogged.
Botley Rd Road closure at the train station. Police officers are also there.
One motorist who has driven down Woodstock Road today said the traffic is very light. This seems to be the experience of many this morning who manage to either make it into the city or are already based here.
The flood mark sign at the River Thames at Osney Lock
One van driver has just driven past all of the signs, barriers and officials to get down Botley Road. Council officials have repeatedly criticised those ignoring such restrictions.
There are lots of pedestrians and cyclists making their way down Botley Road. Some people are walking in the middle of the road, so free of traffic is the route.
One car is stuck down Binsey Lane, which is flooded again today.
There is flooding around the King's Centre on Osney Mead.
In light of the closures of the Abingdon Road and the Botley Road and difficult road conditions elsewhere, Oxfordshire County Council has advised commuters into Oxford that their journeys are likely to take much longer than usual and they should plan accordingly.
The Met Office is forecasting that there will be no rain in Oxford until 6pm tonight, when heavy downpours are predicted.
This will continue through the night.
Until then the weather will be a mixture of sunny and cloudy.
The towpath further along towards Iffley is flooded out.
The A417 in Challow has reopened after earlier flooding near Silver Lane.
Traffic is reportedly flowing well.
Oxford Bus Company says its 3 and 5 services will operate as they did yesterday and terminate in the city centre.
The towpath at Osney Lock near the Punter is clear and passable today. The waters in the lock are churning and very full, but there are not floods in that area. All the paths are clear.
This might go down well with council officials, who are advising motorists to take public transport today.
One reader who took the bus into the city centre down Banbury Road this morning rather than chance a drive in from Summertown said: "It was really quick. I might do it more often."
People can get out of Botley Road.
Police and officials are at the scene of the railway bridge at the top of the road, where a barrier is in place.
The city centre around the train station is this morning an empty, eerie place. There are a few cars trying to get through down to Botley Road - with one or two vehicles still coming through.
One pedestrian walking into town down Botley Road with their daughter almost fell over in floodwater.
"It's so deep!" the pedestrian told the Mail.
On North Hinksey Lane by McDonald's, vehicles are not allowed to travel down.
At Botley Road near McDonald's, some cars are being allowed through for local access.
Richer Sounds at Botley is seeing floodwater right up to the door.
Motorists trying to get on to the A44 from nearby roads are facing serious traffic problems. One reader told us they had driven from Eynsham to Yarnton in an attempt to join the A44, only to find traffic at a standstill.
Road-users are turning back, but there are also serious delays - perhaps as a result- going the other way through Cassington and then back towards Eynsham.
Motorists are being turned away at the area by McDonald's on Botley Road.
This picture from reader @OxfordMamma shows the situation at the moment:
There is heavy traffic on Woodstock Road this morning.
West Oxford Community Primary School on Ferry Hinksey Road is closed.
More than the usual number of pedestrians are having to make their way along Botley Road to get into work today. One pedestrian said there was a "sense of stoicism" and people were just "getting on with it".
There are several patches of floodwater across Botley Road.
Ferry Hinksey Road remains flooded at the roundabout for Osney Mead, but is much less severe than on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Binsey Lane is flooded, too.
Environment Agency vehicles and staff are dotted across Botley Road at the moment, monitoring the situation and talking to locals.
Water is being pumped out of Bullstake Close and Osney Court into Lamarsh Road. There are several businesses around there. Lamarsh Road is awash as a result.
Flooding at McDonald's is the chief cause of the Botley Road closure. Cyclists and pedestrians can get through. Officials are at the scene advising motorists at the bottom of Botley Interchange. Some cars are being let through. The flooding at McDonald's is lapping into the car park and across the road.
Thames Travel is warning passengers to expect delays and diversions due to road closures cause by flooding in Oxford and South Oxfordshire.
In Oxford, buses that normally use Abingdon Road are diverted via Iffley Road.
Services around Wallingford are affected by a fallen tree which has forced the closure of Shillingford Bridge.
Flooding at South Moreton means that route 95 cannot serve Aston Upthorpe, Aston Tirrold and Blewbury.
For updates, see the Thames Travel website.
Stagecoach says that it is running a near-normal service wherever possible this morning but long delays are expected due to the closure of Abingdon Road and Botley Road and the lifting of restrictions on other traffic using Oxford High Street.
Routes S1, X30, 11 and 66 are diverted between the city centre and Botley via Woodstock Road and the A34
Route 2 services from Kidlington towards Oxford will run via The Moors, High Street and Oxford Road due to flooding and roadworks in Evans Road, while 2A will operate direct via Oxford Road to Grovelands.
Routes 31 and 34 are diverted via Iffley Road.
Buses on route 3 from Rose Hill are terminating in the city centre instead of the railway station.
Route 18 cannot serve Bablockhythe and Northmoor due to flooded roads and will run via the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.
Route S3 between Oxford and Cahrlbury and Chipping Norton will not serve Oxford railway station, with buses terminating at Gloucester Green.
For updates, see the Stagecoach website.
There are 13 flood warnings now in place in Oxfordshire. They are at the following:
- River Thames and tributaries at Wolvercote in Oxford
- River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
- River Thames and tributaries at Sandford and Radley near Oxford
- River Thames at Culham
- River Thames and tributaries at Kennington
- River Thames between Newbridge and Kings Lock above Oxford
- River Thames in Abingdon
- River Thames and tributaries at Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford
- River Thames at Dorchester
- River Thames from Days Lock to South Stoke including Shillingford, Benson and Wallingford
- River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington
- River Thames from Buscot Wick to Shifford including lower Bampton and Chimney areas
- River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford
The Environment Agency was yesterday saying that river levels in the county would reach their highest today. How long it will take for the chaos to clear is a moot point.
There are also forecasts of rain on Thursday, Friday and again on Sunday.
With both Abindgon Road and Botley Road closed by flooding, the Oxford Bus Company is warning of major delays to services as a result of buses being diverted and congestion on the roads that are open.
The following alterations apply:
2 services from Kidlington towards Oxford will run via The Moors, High Street and Oxford Road due to flooding and roadworks in Evans Road, while 2A will operate direct via Oxford Road to Grovelands.
X3. X13 and 300 park-and-ride services are diverted via Iffley Road
4 and BrookesBus U1 buses are diverted between George Street and Botley via Woodstock Road and the A34.
35 cannot serve Lower Kennington and Redbridge due to flooding and will run via Bagley Wood Road and Iffley Road.
Buses on route 3 from Rose Hill and route 5 from Blackbird Leys are terminating in the city centre instead of the railway station.
Passengers travelling to and from the railway station should use buses on park-and-ride route 400 to make connections with routes 3 and 5 in Speedwell Street or High Street.
Route 400 buses are turning round at the station, at the stop normally used by route 5, due to the closure of Seacourt park-and-ride centre.
For updates, see the Oxford Bus Company website.
The weather outlook for the Oxford area today is fairly mild. But from 6pm this evening, forecasters are predicting yet more rain.
To reiterate - Abingdon Road remains shut. The county council has blasted those using the route now as "irresponsible".
"Don't drive through flood water for your own safety and to avoid creating bow waves that affect properties," the council has just stated on its Twitter feed.
Bow waves, for information, are waves generated by traffic moving through flood water.
People, of course, are being urged to take precautions.
The agency says: "Communities are urged to prepare by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates.
"Our teams continue to work around the clock checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, deploying temporary defences, monitoring water levels and issuing flood warnings where necessary."
There are no severe flood warnings in place in Oxfordshire, but several flood warnings remain in place today. Flooding is expected in those areas.
This is the latest south-east regional advice from the Environment Agency, which gives a broad sense of the state of play in the wider area.
"The risk of flooding continues this week across the south of England as rivers respond to heavy rainfall and groundwater remains high.
"As of 2pm on Tuesday, there were three severe flood warnings for Dorset. Across the south of England, there are over 100 flood warnings and 200 flood alerts in place.
"There is a continuing risk of flooding from groundwater in Dorset and south Wiltshire. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of groundwater flooding."
There will be many tales of woe today from motorists.
"Peartree Interchange is moving - just really slow," says tweeter Katherine McNeil.
Reports reached us last night that the Thames by Donnington Bridge, Oxford, has burst its banks and is rapidly filling the lower-lying Iffley Meadow.
Are you having serious problems getting in? Have you taken images of the flooding? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us at @TheOxfordMail
First Great Western and CrossCountry trains are still running between Oxford and Didcot, despite problems with flood water on the tracks at Hinksey and Kennington, however, fewer trains are able to run than normal.
Shuttle trains are running between Oxford and Didcot, leaving Oxford at seven minutes past the hour and 37 minutes past the hour, to make connections for Reading and London, with trains from Didcot at 26 and 57 minutes past the hour.
Delays of up to 20 minutes are expected and passengers are advised to check what trains are running before leaving for the station. See FGW's JourneyCheck page or National Rail's live departure boards or call 08457 484950.
On the Cotswold Line, an hourly shuttle service is running between Oxford and Worcester, caliing at Hanborough, Charlbury, Kingham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Honeybourne, Evesham, Pershore and Worcester Shrub Hill. Trains will leave Oxford at 20 minutes past the hour and Worcester at 55 minutes past the hour.
Services between Didcot Parkway and South Wales are revised due to flooding between Swindon and Bristol Parkway. Some services are cancelled and those that are running will be diverted via Bath and Bristol Temple Meads with wextended journey times.
London Midland, CrossCountry and Arriva trains are accepting First Great Western tickets on all reasonable routes.
High Street restrictions normally in place between 7.30am and 6.30pm have been lifted - meaning the route is open to all traffic, rather than just buses and taxis.
Oxford Bus Company says its City 4 and Brookes bus U1 services - which usually go down Botley Road - are going down Woodstock Road and George Street instead.
The closure of Botley Road this morning is leading to severe delays. Currently, officials are letting motorists through at the railway station bridge if they are going no further towards Botley than PC World.
On the schools closure front, this is the latest we have got
Aston Rowant Church of England Primary School is closed due to an electricity failure but it hopes to be open tomorrow
Grandpont Nursery School is closed due to flooding but again it is hoped it will be open tomorrow
And here's the current road closures, according to the council
- The Botley Road in Oxford was closed to traffic from about 3.45am today from the railway bridge by the train station to the road's junction with the A420 A34 slip road by McDonald's
- The Abingdon Road in Oxford was closed late on Monday, January 6 from its junction with old Abingdon Road through to its junction with Northampton Road. This includes Weirs Lane. Some motorists have been ignoring this closure. This is irresponsible. The closure is for the safety of motorists and nearby residents whose properties suffer from the effects of bow waves from passing vehicles.
- Islip - Lower Road and Mill Road closed because of flooding. The route through the village is now via Kings Head Lane, which is under traffic signal control
- London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood due to flooding
- Barford Road between Barford St John and Barford St Michael closed due to flooding
- B478 at Playhatch
- A417 at Challow, by Mellors Garage, due to flooding
- Road to Woodeaton Village from B4027 to Elsfield/ Marston Junction
- Clifton Hampden to Long Wittenham (High Street)
- Wytham to Wolvercote road (under the A34 bridge)
- Kennington Road, Kennington by A34 slip road.
- Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford (West Oxford Primary School is still currently accessible from the Botley Road. The situation will be monitored).
- Link road from A34 to South Hinksey village
- Binsey Lane, Oxford
- Tollgate Road at Culham Bridge
- West Hagbourne Village – York Road to Main Street
- North Moreton to Wallingford road
- B4016 Blewbury Road, East Hagbourne
- Minster Riding near the Old Swan Hotel near Minster Lovell
- Dry Lane, Crawley
- A417 both ways closed due to accident and fallen power cables near B4001 New Road
- Hithercroft Road from roundabout at Bosley Way near Wallingford to Anchor Lane at South Moreton
Flood signs have been installed at:
- Main Street - Clanfield
- Bloxham Rd – Banbury
- B4035 - Broughton Lane
- A361 at Fulbrook
- Merton to Islip road at Charlton-on-Otmoor
Oxford City Council has closed Seacourt Park and Ride off the Botley Road due to flooding.
The Kennington Flood Barrier was erected by the Vale of White Horse District Council.
Here's the first update this morning from Oxfordshire County Council:
Some further rain is forecast although weather may improve by the end of the week. In the meantime driving conditions are likely to continue to be difficult, with road closures and a risk of disruption as a result of surface water flooding and road closures.
Advice for Oxford commuters this morning
In light of the closures of the Abingdon Road and the Botley Road and difficult road conditions elsewhere, commuters into Oxford are advised that their journeys are likely to take much longer than usual and they should plan accordingly.
The bus gate on the High Street will shortly be open to all traffic with traffic restrictions lifted.
We urge people to stay in touch with the websites of local agencies and the Environment Agency as well as local media outlets for up to date travel information today and tomorrow.
A very early good morning to you. This blog will later today start updating you as to the latest situation about the floods affecting Oxford and Oxfordshire. Remember to send any information and pictures to us via email to email@example.com or via our Twitter page @theoxfordmail
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