Flood Control: Somerset

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the contribution that fully implementing the Somerset Flood Action Plan will have on (a) road and rail transport resilience and (b) the resilience of the Hinckley Point C nuclear construction project.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Recent computer modelling has been carried out to assess the benefits of some of the works carried out under the Somerset Flood Action Plan. This indicates that, in a repeat of the weather seen in Winter 2013/14, closure of the A361 would be reduced to about three weeks instead of the nine to ten weeks in 2013/14, and the impact on the rail line from Bristol to Taunton across Northmoor would be reduced.

In terms of Hinkley C site development, licensed nuclear site operators are responsible for undertaking flood risk assessments and providing and maintaining control measures to ensure their sites remain safe from faults and damage arising from flooding. In addition Local Authorities must ensure that their off-site plan for a nuclear emergency is resilient to a range of weather conditions (e.g. those leading to, or involving, flooding or heavy snow).

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