Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier
14 January 2021 Press Release

Essex Highways urges residents to avoid travelling unless necessary

Essex Highways is aware of the flooding and high-water levels affecting travel across the county and urges residents to avoid travelling unless necessary.

Among the reports of roads flooded by lunchtime today (Thursday) were the A127 approaching the M25 near Warley, and roads in Colne Engaine, Bures and Rayne, with further reports coming in of other roads becoming impassable.

The county has received an enormous amount of rain over the last 24 hours, up to an inch in some areas, which is placing extreme strain on the drainage network.

This has caused river and groundwater levels to rise above road drain outfalls, and the water on the road therefore has nowhere to go, even when drains are clear and working normally, so the road becomes flooded.

Worse, if river water or floods from fields washes onto the road, then soil and other debris is dumped in the drains reducing the ability to clear the water further.

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “Drivers should only be on the road for essential travel and should never drive in flood water. If there is a threat to life or property, please contact 999.

“Highways crews are on standby, but crews are also preparing for further inclement weather as rain threatens to turn to snow tonight and as temperatures fall water can turn to ice.”

If in doubt, please check with the Environment agency warnings on Twitter. You can sign up for local alerts and see warning on the Flood Warning Information Service.

Essex Highways will post alerts to drivers about known flooded roads on the Essex Highways Twitter feed.