Press release

River obstruction to be removed in Knaresborough to reduce flood risk

Environment Agency to remove timber and other floating debris


An obstruction to the water flow on the River Nidd in Knaresborough will be removed by the Environment Agency on Sunday 13 March, reducing a potential localised flood risk.

Timber and other floating debris can accumulate against the central pier of Low Bridge, situated on the western edge of the town, and if left unchecked this mass could eventually grow large enough to block the bridge’s arches.

It is estimated that there is up to 15 tonnes of debris which has been washed downstream following the flooding at Christmas.

An operations team from the Environment Agency will remove the debris, using chainsaws to cut up the branches, from a boat in the river. Any large pieces of debris will then be lifted by a crane into a wagon on the bridge.

The work has been scheduled for a Sunday to minimise disruption to road traffic. The one-day operation will mean a temporary road closure of the B6163 Knaresborough to Calcutt road, in co-operation with North Yorkshire County Council. Pedestrians will still be able to use the road.

Andrew Gannaway, in the operations delivery team at the Environment Agency, said:

This operation is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing recovery work following the floods at Christmas, to reduce the risk of flooding to people and properties. Clearing the debris at Low Bridge is quite an important job because it can and does accumulate against the central pier of the bridge, and if it isn’t removed it would eventually block the water flow underneath the bridge arches. It usually needs to be done every two years.

If anyone notices any debris or obstructions in their local river, please report it to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Published 7 March 2016