Repairs start on Sonning's Playhatch Road

Image caption,
The B478 Playhatch Road in Sonning was damaged by flooding earlier this year

Work to repair a road regularly hit by flooding has begun.

Sonning's B478 Playhatch Road, a main commuter route between Oxfordshire and Berkshire, was damaged when river levels rose earlier this year. It was closed and then reopened with one lane.

Work was brought forward by a month following a meeting with residents and businesses in the area.

One lane will remain open throughout the repairs, due for completion in November.

The road, which leads to Sonning Bridge, has not been fully open since flooding at the beginning of this year, with temporary traffic lights controlling the traffic flow through one lane.

Foundation repairs

Michael Emmanuel, owner of the French Horn restaurant, said: "We are very happy that the works are going to be completed. We are slightly disappointed it has taken as long as it has.

"If the road is going to be structurally safe and sound it hopefully means if it floods again in the winter, residents of the village and our customers will be able to make their own risk assessments of the water on the road and continue to use the road, as opposed to at the beginning of the year when they cut us off completely from the south of Oxfordshire."

David Nimmo Smith, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for transport, said: "This is permanent works to reinstate the foundations and the embankments. We will be doing enough patching to make sure it is drivable."

He said the delay was because they had to wait until the water levels receded and the ground dried out before investigations into the damage of the road could start.

The road is due to be resurfaced by the county council next summer.

Mr Nimmo Smith said talks were ongoing with the Environment Agency about further preventative works, including a proposal to raise the part of the road which is blighted by flooding.

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