High price to pay for flood misery on Abingdon Road

The Oxford Times: Oxfordshire County Council staff John Sellar, left, and Rob Pardy clean away debris from Abingdon Road ahead of its reopening to traffic yesterday Oxfordshire County Council staff John Sellar, left, and Rob Pardy clean away debris from Abingdon Road ahead of its reopening to traffic yesterday

BUSINESSES in Abingdon Road are counting the cost of the flooding now the water has receded.

Workers estimate the closure of one of the main routes into Oxford has cost them thousands of pounds in lost business and damage.

The road eventually opened at about 1pm yesterday, having been closed since last Tuesday.

The Oxford Times:

  • Eric Randell, after-sales manager at Jewsons Skoda

Eric Randell, after-sales manager at Jewsons Skoda in Abingdon Road, said: “Without a doubt it has been an absolute disaster for the staff who have lost money in bonuses.

“Customers have been put off, so it disrupted all their plans. No doubt some of them we have lost, especially those buying a car.”

He said the workshop was flooded and contractors, electricians and cleaners had been brought in to get everything back to normal.

Mr Randell said the company would have lost about £17,000 in his after-sales department alone.

Paul Ludlam, manager at National Tyres and Autocare in Abingdon, said the garage lost £18,000 last week.

He said: “We are hoping that we haven’t lost that business permanently.”

John Brooks, managing director of Isis Creative Framing in Northampton Road off Abingdon Road, estimated his business had lost £10,000.

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“How can you judge what business we have lost? We’re exhausted – all of us.

“Everybody is trying to get us back to a sense of normality. Everybody has been pulling together. There has been great community spirit.”

Residents in the Abingdon Road area were beginning the clean-up yesterday.

The Rev Jane Sherwood, of St Luke’s Church in Canning Crescent, said: “When the floods happen, there is a strong community spirit.

“People come out and talk to each other and check everyone is ok.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Michelle Smith found a novel way to keep children’s toys clear of the flood water.

Grandmother Michelle Smith, 42, of Peel Place, had piled up toys on a trampoline to stop them being washed away.

She said there was no damage to the house, but added: “There was water underneath the stairs. There are also still quite a few people without a toilet in the street.

“The water was so deep. It was a nightmare. I have been here 20 years and it has never come round the front of the house before.”

Audrey Exler, 79, of Peel Place, said she was helped by her neighbours.

The great-grandmother of five said: “They got my shopping and things. I was just fed up because I couldn’t get out.

“The neighbours made sure I got my Oxford Mail.”

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