New pumping station to reduce flooding opens in Bedford

It's to stop devastation the town suffered two years ago
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A new pumping station which will reduce flood risk on the south of the river has been officially opened.

Called a King’s Ditch pumping station - it's near the banks of the Ouse at Bedford Girls School on Cardington Road.

It was identified as the best solution to reduce flood risk in this area after several incidents since 1998 - and has come about through a partnership with Bedford Borough Council, the Bedfordshire and River Ivel Drainage Board, Anglian Water, Environment Agency and Bedford Girls School.

Mayor Dave Hodgson and Cllr Doug McMurdo at the new pumping stationMayor Dave Hodgson and Cllr Doug McMurdo at the new pumping station
Mayor Dave Hodgson and Cllr Doug McMurdo at the new pumping station

This station complements the existing Environment Agency flood barrier on the river, and as a fully automatic arrangement, it is a big improvement on the previous manual pumping solution, with each pump able to discharge 300 litres of water per second.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “We all saw the devastation that flooding can wreak over Christmas 2020, and it is great to have another piece of equipment in place to improve our flood resilience locally.”

Cllr Doug McMurdo, chair of the Bedfordshire and River Ivel Drainage Board, added: “A lot of work went into designing and installing this pumping station. It’s great news that it is now in place and in operation on the River Great Ouse, and many properties and businesses in the Kingsbrook catchment are now better protected and at a reduced risk of flooding.”

*Bedford Borough Council has also updated the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for 2022-2027 and wants to hear your views.

This revised strategy builds on what has been learnt since 2015, and includes lessons from the December 2020 flooding in Bedford where 65 properties were flooded across 27 different locations.

You can also email your response to [email protected] or write to Flood Risk Team, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP

The deadline for responses is April 4.