The joint project is working to identify all car parks in Tyne & Wear at risk of flooding. The first two areas to be identified are the Quayside in Newcastle, near the Swing Bridge, and low lights car park at North Shields Fish Quay.
Signs have now gone up in both car parks advising people to check tide timetables, sign up to the Flood Warning Service and information on alternative parking locations. In Newcastle, the council will advise when the car park is going to be closed.
The Environment Agency’s Taryn Al-mashgari, Flood Community Engagement Officer for Tyne & Wear, said:
The signs are not to deter people from parking there as the vast majority of the time there are no issues. But we want people to be more informed about flooding – it’s absolutely vital people understand how they can find out what the current flood risk is and what to do to keep themselves safe. These car parks are in flood risk areas and during particularly high tide they are liable to flooding.
It’s particularly important for visitors where people might not be aware of the flood risk. This way that they can be more informed about the current and upcoming flood risk and ensure it’s safe to park there.
The same signage will be used at flood risk car parks across Tyne & Wear. Taryn is also working with local authorities to identify car parks also at risk of surface water flooding. Councillor Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Environment, added:
Extreme weather events are an unfortunate challenge we all face from time to time so anything we can do to get one step ahead is a positive move. Flooding can strike in an instant and warning drivers of the potential of it occurring by leaving their cars in at-risk locations provides another layer of preparation to go with the defences which have already been invested in.
The work carried out with our partners like the Environment Agency is not intended to deter people from using these car parks, we simply aim to raise awareness of the risks.
Councillor Carole Burdis, North Tyneside Council’s whose portfolio includes Community Safety, said:
It’s great that, alongside our partners, we’re taking vital steps to ensure the safety of our residents by giving them early warning of flood risks. We are committed to protecting the public and keeping everyone informed as much as possible of current flood risks and how to keep safe.
The project is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing work with local authorities to raise awareness of flood risk in our communities and ensure people know how to prepare.
Driving through flood water risks lives – just 30cm of water is enough to float your car. Those travelling over Christmas and through winter are urged to check their route for flood warnings. If you find your way blocked by flood water always turn around and find another way – never take the risk.
For more information on what to do in a flood visit the gov.uk website