1. ITV Report

£2m flood defence works to start in Keswick

Credit: ITV Border

Major engineering works designed to increase the flood resilience of Keswick are scheduled to start on 2 September.

Cumbria County Council, along with the Environment Agency and Keswick Flood Action Group are investing approximately £2m in the works, which will see the construction of a new flood storage basin at Springs Field, and a new pumping station underneath Penrith Road, which will discharge in to the River Greta.

Improvements will also be made to the drainage to help the run-off of surface water in the ‘Castlehead Drain’ between the basin and pumping station.

Flooding in Keswick in 2009 Credit: PA

After the floods of 2005, we flagged up that there was an early surface water flood risk in the Penrith Road area long before the River Greta caused flooding at that point. The construction of the river defenses back in 2012 resulted in the potential for even deeper ponding in the Penrith Road area long before the river over-topped. Sadly this proved to be the case during Storm Desmond in December 2015."

– Lynne Jones, Chair of Keswick Flood Action Group

Following feedback from the local community, construction work is not starting until the end of the school summer holidays to minimise disruption and avoid the peak season and busy bank holiday weekend.

The Pumping Station element of the project requires a full road closure of Penrith Road approximately at the end of Myers Street for up to 14 weeks from 2 September 2019.

The Council have agreed to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum and that access is maintained for local residents and businesses where possible.

A diversion will be in place which will be clearly indicated and will be signposting traffic bound for the west of the town via the Crosthwaite roundabout.

Representatives from contractor VBA will be in Keswick Library every Tuesday between 10am and 12noon throughout the duration of the work to answer any questions and provide progress updates to residents, businesses and visitors.

This is a significant investment managed by the county council of up to £2m and will protect hundreds of properties from future flooding events, and stop the extent of surface water from disrupting the surrounding highways and local businesses.

Whilst there is never going to be a ‘good’ time to have a road closure in Keswick, we’re somewhat limited as to when this work can be carried out trying to balance the requirements of the town with the need to alleviate the effects of flooding to the Penrith Road community."

– Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Credit: PA

A dedicated webpage, has been set up on the county council’s website which will be updated throughout the works.