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Eight Miles, High.

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Road closed due to floodingEasy to change-over warning signs on the road to Oxlane bridge.

You might have noticed that it’s been raining a bit. While we don’t seem to have it as bad as some areas, the ground has been saturated and Padbury Brook has burst its banks.

At the Medieval bridge at Thornborough, the water on Monday had risen four feet above the level I’d seen in December.

Flooding at Thornborough bridgeThornborough bridge on Monday.

Six arches of Thornborough BridgeThornborough bridge at the beginning of December last year.

Downstream from the bridge, the brook had spread over the fields each side; the slopes that lead down to the Roman ford beyond the bridge were under the clay coloured water.

Upstream is Oxlane Bridge, just South of Padbury. The road to the bridge was shut. Road signs at each end of the road have a hinge up section, so they can be changed in a moment from “Road liable to flooding” to “Road closed”; It floods that regularly.

Oxlane bridge  in floodOxlane bridge. This photo was taken during the previous flood in mid January, but the water was at much the same level on Monday.

Just a mile upstream from the bridge, two smaller brooks join together to make this larger one. One brook can be followed upstream and West all the way into Oxfordshire, and it’s no more than a stream where it dives under the M40.


Granborough Brook bridgeGranborough bridge.

In Bucks, streams from Finmere airfield, Hillesden, Calvert, and the lake at Claydon House feed this brook.

The other branch goes East, almost as far as Drayton Parslow. It’s fed by streams from Botolph Claydon, the Horwoods, and Oving. Another stream starts in the middle of Winslow.

On Monday, I found saturated fields at Addington, and South of Winslow, Granborough brook was close to topping the banks when I visited the bridge.

Saturated fields at AddingtonSaturated fields at Addington.

It’s a curious thing that all the land that feeds the brook at Thornborough will be under hundreds of thousands of new houses, with a dual carriageway to connect them all, if the Expressway project gets approval.

This immense scheme would join Oxford and Milton Keynes together in one huge built up area, with a million homes and around two and a half million people. It would even extend into Bedfordshire.

I look upon this with dread. Apart from the lower standard of living this will mean for everyone who lives here now, what’s going to happen when it rains?

If you don’t want to live in a giant conurbation and would like to do something about it, please contact the No Expressway Group.

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