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Vision for tackling flooding in St Helens
A SQUAD of waterway experts has waded in with a plan of action to beat repeated flooding at notorious blackspots across the town.
One of their key proposals includes opening up a disused stretch of canal.
Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) has raised concerns over repeated flooding around St Helens.
In September, families had to be rescued from their homes, after the canal overflowed following torrential downpours.
And among other flood-prone hotspots, Peasley Cross Lane has been affected by flooding for more than a century, making the road under the bridge near Saints’ new stadium impassable.
Three motorists have had to be rescued there by emergency services in the past six months, after misjudging the depth of the floodwater.
Islands Brow has also had to be closed to traffic several times.
SCARS is calling for a “multi agency” approach, involving St Helens, Halton and Warrington Councils, along with the Environment Agency, the Canal and Waterway Associations and other interested parties, to seek solutions.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency told the Star: “We welcome the opportunity to work with SCARS to develop proposals that would help reduce the risk of flooding to the St Helens community and meet their aims.
“We would welcome the introduction of a working group towards finding sustainable solutions.”
One proposal from SCARS is to reopen the stretch of canal from the centre of St Helens, through to the Mersey, running off surplus water and providing a tourist attraction.
Peter Keen, secretary of SCARS, said: “St Helens Council has been very supportive over the years. But no progress can be made without the will of councils to do something and funding.
“There is a bid for the southern section of the canal from Warrington to Halton, which has been kicked back, but it will be re-submitted.
“Other areas have received funding for flood prevention measures, so if we find the causes of the flooding we could make bids to address the problems.”