Press release

Girton flood risk reduced by relocation of service pipes

Work to reduce flood risk to properties in Girton, Cambridgeshire has been completed.

Pipes span the front and under the bridge
Pipes span the front and under the bridge

The Environment Agency led project involved the relocation of 10 service pipes, which carry everything from electricity and gas to cable TV and water, beneath the Beck Brook.

The pipes previously spanned the Oakington Road Bridge crossing the Beck Brook.

Agency investigations in 2012 suggested that during heavy rainfall the pipes could prevent the increased volumes of water from flowing downstream and away from the village, raising the water levels in the Beck Brook and on occasion causing flooding from the brook.

Together with Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council Highways department it worked closely with Cambridge Water, UK Power Networks, National Grid, BT Openreach, Virgin Media and Anglian Water to identify the owner of each pipe and gain agreement to move the pipes underground.

Contractor J N Bentley Ltd constructed new ducts to carry the services beneath the Beck Brook and to remove the redundant pipes after the service owners had relocated them to the new ducts.

Clear view of the bridge
Clear view of the bridge

Georgina Nichols, Flood Risk Advisor at the Agency, said:

This project is a great success for the local community who were keen to see the pipes moved. It would not have been possible without the co-operation of so many organisations. It’s taken time to get here, but the project is a fantastic demonstration of what a partnership approach can achieve for a community.

Protecting people and property from flooding is a key role for the Environment Agency and whilst the relocation of these pipes will reduce flood risk in Girton there is still work we can do here. We will continue to investigate and progress other solutions to further manage flood risk in this community.

Councilor De Lacey, Girton Parish Council, said:

Girton Parish Council has been concerned for a very long time at the effect the service pipes have on the flow when Beck Brook is in flood, and we are delighted to have been able to work with the Environment Agency and the service providers in having the services re-routed and the pipes removed.

Although the bridge itself remains a cause of concern this is a significant step in Girton’s flood defences which will be welcomed by the whole village.

One in 6 homes in England and Wales is at risk of flooding, and the Environment Agency is promoting the importance of preparing a flood plan for homes and businesses.

You can check to see if you are at risk of flooding by visiting and by following the links to Flooding, or by calling Floodline Warnings Direct on 0345 988 1188.

The Environment Agency also has a SMART phone App called Flood Alert which you can download for free to your phone or via Facebook.

You can also follow the regional Twitter account at for updates throughout the year.

Published 27 January 2015