Wraysbury residents say Jubilee River is a 'disaster'

Flooded homes in Old Windsor Old Windsor residents say it has caused more homes to flood since it opened

Work by the Environment Agency to control flood water on the Thames has been a "disaster" for Wraysbury, according to residents.

The £110m Jubilee River opened in 2002, and was planned to reduce flooding in Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton and Cookham.

Wraysbury and Old Windsor residents say it has caused more homes to flood since it opened.

The agency said the scheme was working as planned and it may extend the river to protect more flood-prone areas.

Jubilee River

The Jubilee River
  • In flood conditions the Jubilee River diverts water from the River Thames upstream of Maidenhead
  • This reduces flood levels in the River Thames running through Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton and Cookham
  • The Jubilee River rejoins the Thames downstream of Windsor, and does not provide protection to communities downstream of the scheme
  • The Environment Agency states the Jubilee River does not adversely affect flood levels downstream
  • The Jubilee River has been running at full capacity since 7 January
  • This is the first time the Jubilee River has run at full capacity since it was opened in 2002
'Sacrificial lambs'

Graham Sinclair, who lives in Wraysbury, said his neighbours were "very angry".

"It's grossly unfair that a man-made river can be to the benefit of some people and to the detriment of others," he said.

Flood warden Gillie Bolton who lives on Ham Island in Old Windsor, said: "I believe we are being used as sacrificial lambs to stop Maidenhead from flooding."

However, the Environment Agency says the Jubilee River has worked well to protect Maidenhead and Eton.

The Environment Agency's Barry Russell said a review had been held following similar floods in 2003, which found the Jubilee River was operating as planned.

He said the agency planned to extend the scheme to protect Wraysbury and Old Windsor in the future, but this would cost £256m.

"We have very extensive plans to continue the Jubilee River all the way down from Datchet down to Teddington.

"It's very expensive but it's got huge support," he said.

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