River Medway

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th March 2014.

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Photo of Mark Reckless Mark Reckless Conservative, Rochester and Strood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what responsibilities the Environment Agency has for the River Medway from Allington Lock to Tonbridge; and what action they have taken to limit vegetation impeding the flow of the (a) river traffic and (b) water.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency is the competent navigation authority for the River Medway from Allington Lock to Tonbridge, and is responsible for navigational use and Flood Risk Management.

To make sure that capacity for boat use and water flow is maintained, the water levels through the lock pens are dropped and visual inspections carried out. If sediment builds up, Environment Agency teams schedule sediment removal with a dredger. This helps to maintain a deep channel so very little vegetation grows.

The Environment Agency also inspects for fallen trees that will reduce the river flow and arranges removal of them in partnership with the riparian owner. Following the recent storms, Environment Agency teams are removing fallen trees from the River Medway that increase flood risk to properties in Tonbridge.

Any overhanging vegetation that is a hazard to navigation is removed using an Environment Agency contractor between March and May each year. Outside this period the Environment Agency removes any overhanging hazards as they occur.

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