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The Jubilee River story - Introduction, brief synopsis and JR map
The rise and fall of the Jubilee River - simply nothing to celebrate here!
This chronological story exposes the continuing fiasco and highlights Environment Agency incompetence and failure on the £110m award winning Jubilee River flood alleviation project - with £5m in repair costs, a £2.75m out-of-court settlement for sub-standard design and construction - and still degrading and unable to carry its design capacity.
This is still the most expensive flood alleviation scheme ever built in this country, and now there is a £300m project downstream of Windsor called the Lower Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington)
In my opinion the Environment Agency has been more successful in covering up the mistakes than they were managing this project in the first place!
I have no confidence that the EA will do any better with the LTS than they did with Jubilee River!
Synopsis: The Thames Valley has many large areas of low-lying flood plain with a varying probability of flooding. There are some records of 1947 flooding and (Images of 1947 flooding in Wraysbury)
The MWEFAS (Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme) was conceived in the 1980s with the objective of reducing the risk of flooding in Windsor, Eton and Maidenhead, and scrutinised at a Public Inquiry in 1992.
The project was authorised by the Minister in 1995 and renamed Jubilee River in 2002.
The main element of the project was a channel approximately 12km long and 50m wide constructed to carry flood water in parallel with the Thames.
The water is taken out of the Thames upstream of Maidenhead (Taplow) and put back into the Thames downstream of Windsor - at Black Potts in Datchet.
You can find the EA map of the Jubilee River here: Jubilee River - MAP (EA) 163Kb.pdf
The channel was damaged by flood water when used in January 2003 which resulted in £5m repair costs and a £2.75 out-of-court settlement.
Other facts and the truth about sub-standard flood defences, flood defence failures, neglect of watercourse maintenance (thus increasing the probability of flooding) are revealed. Property insurance difficulties, continuing development on flood plain, responsibility without accountability and Environment Agency shortcomings are considered especially their shortage of both engineering and mathematical expertise.
Having failed to maintain both the Thames and the Jubilee River, the Environment Agency is now planning to spend another £300m of public money on the Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy.
There is the Jubilee River story index page that you might like to view for a start.........
Some of the milestone events are listed below:
mid 1980's - MWEFAS project conceived
1991 - Parliament - Thames Flood Alleviation Scheme
1992 - Datchet Parish Council circular and Public Inquiry
1995 - Project approved by Minister
2002 - Inaugurated and renamed Jubilee River
2003 - First used in January - hundreds of households affected by flooding, channel severely damaged.
Channel contaminated with algae
2004 - Slough Weir repair - £680,000
Flood Risk Action Group recommendations published.
2005 - Myrke Embankment rebuild - £1,300,000
2006 - £2.75m out-of-court settlement for sub-standard design and construction
2009 - Another £300m project - The LTFRMS proposal
2014 - Hundreds of properties downstream of Windsor flooded TWICE in 2014
More bank damage - both upstream and downstream of Taplow Control Structure and at Black Potts.
Taplow Control Structure repeatedly operated at night and hydrograph adjusted to hide generated waves.
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