MOTORISTS in Oxford could face major disruption from today as work gets under way on a £1m flood prevention scheme in Kennington As roadworks for the Thames Water scheme begin in Kennington Road, drivers will be diverted to other routes.

The £1m scheme aims to improve the drainage and sewer system in the village.

Kennington Road near Upper Road will be closed from today through to Sunday, November 4.

Traffic signs will be displayed in Kennington Road southwards, from its junction with the A423 slip road.

Thames Water is building a 900-metre surface water sewer to take water away from Kennington Road. Workers will also clear silt and debris from the current drainage pond.

The Environment Agency says the work will reduce the risk of river flooding to homes in the Kennington area from a current one in three-year risk to one in 28 years.

Chairman of Kennington parish council Peter Biggs said: “We totally support this.

“Work since the last floods in 2007, which has been carried out by the Environment Agency, has eased problems.

“Anything to improve matters has to be a good thing.”

It will also prevent flooding on the railway line between Oxford and London.

Work is expected to last five days and is being carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency, Network Rail, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and Vale of White Horse District Council.

Mr Biggs said: “Obviously this is an inconvenience to villagers for a week – they have scheduled the work during half term and we are pleased with that.

“We wanted them to close the road down for the shortest amount of time possible and get on with the work and that’s what they are doing.”

The alternative route for drivers during the work is via the A423, Hinksey Hill, Oxford Road and Bagley Wood Road.

Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall said: “The city35 service will call at Redbridge park-and-ride, then divert via the A34, Twelve Acre Drive, to Radley railway station and the normal route to Abingdon. Journeys from Abingdon will follow that route in reverse.

“There is a special free shuttle bus for Kennington passengers to connect to the city35 at Radley station.

“It will run between Kennington Road and Radley station during the daytime.

“Passengers catching the bus at Radley will only pay the normal Kennington fare.”

Keith Coppen, general manager of The Tandem pub in Kennington Road, said: “If they resolve the flooding once and for all that will be a good thing for the village.”

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