HC Deb 19 December 2003 vol 416 cc94-5W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities wishing to take part in trials of demountable flood barriers; [143167]

(2) what the specification for the Environment Agency"s trials of the Pallet Barrier system are in (a) Shrewsbury, (b) Worcester and (c) Ironbridge Gorge; [143168]

(3) what assessment she has made of the impact of temporary demountable flood barriers upon flood prevention. [143169]

Margaret Beckett

Demountable defences have been used in numerous places and include for example gated openings and the demountable wall at Bewdley. Where tested these have all generally performed well as flood defence structures.

In addition we have funded the Environment Agency to trial movable temporary defences including the pallet barrier system. These are at Shrewsbury, Worcester and Ironbridge Gorge. The trials are designed to test the security of the defence that might be achieved by such systems. The results of these trials will be made publicly available once they have been completed.

We will then make an assessment of the potential impact of temporary flood barriers on flood alleviation and will issue guidance to operating authorities accordingly. However it should be noted that these temporary systems are only likely to be suitable for particular locations and where there is adequate notice of rising river levels such as on the River Severn.

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