Counting the cost of Lancashire’s flooding misery
It was the day when the waters came and Lancashire held its breath.
Two weeks’ worth of rain in one day caused homes to flood, schools to close and plenty of misery for motorists and rail passengers.
Cuerden Valley Park, between Chorley and Bamber Bridge, had to be closed to visitors between midday and 3pm after heavy rain turned a stream into a raging torrent.
The park’s development officer Steve Williams said: “We had to close it for three hours for health and safety reasons. It’s difficult to see where the path is in the valley at some points while at Kem Mill, in Whittle-le-Woods, one of the bridges was completely underwater.”
In Preston, the River Ribble burst its banks for the first time in 13 years when neighbouring fields were flooded. Residents in New Longton, Penwortham and Higher Walton were left devastated when flood water inundated their homes.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Whittle Springs burst its banks.
Insurers were bracing themselves for a raft of claims from homeowners and businesses who saw their property ruined.
Another road to hell in Preston
Motorists in Preston are facing a fresh round of highway hell as one of the city’s busiest roads is dug up.
United Utilities was due to start work again on a section of Sir Tom Finney Way at Deepdale.
The utilities giant is laying hundreds of metres of electricity cable – part of a £30m project to lay 12km of cables in Lancashire.
The work on Sir Tom Finney Way first began last summer. Thousands of motorists use the road every day and the work is expected to last three weeks.
Signs indicating diversion routes are due to be put in place.
The work is likely to cause serious disruption to traffic heading between Preston and Fulwood.
A spokesman for United Utilities said the road was being closed with the wishes of Preston Council and police kept in mind.
He said the best way to lay the cables was to close the road because of their heavy weight and length.
A sign warning of the works is only on the side of the road heading away from Preston city centre towards Fulwood.
The spokesman could not confirm whether both sides or just one side of the road would be affected.
Coun Eric Fazackerley, Preston councillor for the Sharoe Green ward, said councillors were not told about the work.
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College crossing is now safety risk
Adult students have been stopped from crossing a busy main road – in a new health and safety move.
College bosses have even re-routed a shuttle bus to spare them from danger – and have asked tutors to chaperone them, a move reminiscent of a primary school walking bus.
However, students, some of who are in their 30s, at Preston College’s Park Campus are protesting that they are being treated like infants in a move which, they say, adds chaos to the end of their day.
Students have been asked to sign a letter agreeing to observe a “behaviour code” for catching the bus, which connects the Park School campus in Moor Park with the main Fulwood campus.
They must agree to “walk purposefully to the bus stop and not become distracted along the way in order to arrive in a timely manner” and to “behave responsibly when walking from the Park campus along Moor Park Avenue to the departure point.”
Until recently Park School students travelling back to Fulwood were able to cross Garstang Road to catch buses home without returning to the main site.