February 22, 2015
Burnham rescue charity joins flood-hit village's road celebrations

Burnham-On-Sea's rescue charity BARB was among the groups invited to the opening of a newly-raised £2.8m road that will reduce the risk of a Somerset village being flooded in the future.

A 500m-stretch of the main road into Muchelney has been raised by more than 1.2m in order to stop it being cut off by floodwater.

The village was cut off for about 10 weeks last winter during the Somerset floods and Burnham's BARB Search & Rescue helped to collect supplies and transport villagers in and out using its inshore rescue boat.

BARB and members of Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, who also crewed a ferry boat, were among the guests at Saturday's opening of the raised road, which was formally opened by Somerset County Council Leader John Osman.

"The re-opening is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work by a lot of people in many different organisations and my thanks go to everyone involved," said Cllr Osman, right.

"Muchelney is a thriving community, home to more than 200 people of all ages including doctors, nurses, builders, teachers and schoolchildren. It’s also home to more than a dozen businesses ranging from a caravan site to a cattery, a pottery to farm shop."

"Last winter’s flooding caused a great deal of disruption, fear and concern for the village and this project should ensure that does not happen again. I thank villagers for their patience while the work has been taking place and hope they can join us in celebrating and looking to the future now this landmark scheme is complete."

The work was funded by the Department for Transport and was completed in half the normal time. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "The new raised road will be crucial to Muchelney’s resilience against flooding. Since last year’s wet winter, the government has committed £22 million to ensure Somerset remains accessible for residents, businesses and visitors in the event of severe weather."


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