Erosion sparks calls for River Derwent work
Last updated at 20:05, Thursday, 05 July 2012
Concern is mounting over this Workington riverbank which has eroded by 30ft since the 2009 floods, sparking calls for urgent work to be carried out.
The north bank of the River Derwent, at Northside, has collapsed and is dragging trees into the water near Navvies Bridge.
Fishermen say they have stopped using the area because it is too dangerous.
There are fears that the nearby cycle track and main road may eventually be undermined.
A spokeswoman for Cumbria County Council said last night that it had been made aware of the problem, and its contractor Connect Roads had drawn up proposals.
These include placing large stone blocks against the riverbank and relocating gravel from the south side to the north side of the river.
She said consent was needed from the Marine Management Organisation and the Environment Agency, and the cost and timescale were unknown.
Derek Foster, secretary of Workington Angling Association, said the club’s 45 active members could no longer fish the stretch because it was dangerous.
He said that a gravel island, which formed near the south bank after the 2009 floods, was diverting the natural flow towards the north bank.
Mr Foster said: “It has ruined the fishing down there. The bank has been eroded by around 30ft, which we’ve reported to the county council and Allerdale council on numerous occasions.
“It is moving closer towards the cycle path and road so it’s going to cause even further problems.”
“The gravel was left there after the floods and all they had to do was take a bulldozer and move it over to the other side for the river to run straight again, but they haven’t and it’s got like this.”
He said members were fishing more towards Great Clifton because of the problem. The association’s fishing rights stretch from Greeat Clifton to the sea.
Seaton Parish Council has written to Allerdale council, Cumbria County Council and the Environment Agency.
Trevor Fee, parish council chairman, said: “Local residents have reported that the bank has eroded and you can see the same happening further down near Workington Bridge.
“As well as eroding inwards, it has affected around a 30ft stretch along the river and trees are being pulled in.
“We’re concerned that a lot of residents in Seaton use that road and if this gets worse and the road has to be shut off it will be a repeat of what happened in 2009 and we will face massive delays.”
Coun Fee said the parish council had contacted the Environment Agency about the build-up of gravel.
A county council spokeswoman said that Allerdale council, which owns the land, had erected a temporary fence to keep people off the bank, and Connect Roads was carrying out regular inspections.
She said: “In recent months the riverbank has been relatively stable and there has been no significant erosion or movement noted.
“The ongoing erosion is taking place on land which is not part of the highway.
“At present the erosion only poses a threat to highway infrastructure, although there is obviously a real risk that the threat could materialise and lead to a potential loss of the highway.”
Preparatory work was going on to find an engineering solution, she added.
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said it was a maintenance issue and not the responsibility of the agency. She was unable to comment on the issue of gravel build-up.
First published at 19:20, Thursday, 05 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Ow well goodbye Northside!!lol
its easy to solve put all the rocks that built up during the big flood onto the other side of the river so the river runs down the middle again
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