Counting the cost of flooding

This flooding scene at Holton le Moor was shared on Twitter by Gainsborough Fire Station. EMN-190312-102714001
This flooding scene at Holton le Moor was shared on Twitter by Gainsborough Fire Station. EMN-190312-102714001

A Holton le Moor pub owner has slammed various agencies for delays in dealing with flooding that closed the A46 near his premises.

Graeme Sellers runs the Hope Tavern and says trade has been badly hit.

As previously reported in The Rasen Mail, the A46 was closed on and off in Holton le Moor over several weeks.

There has beencriticism of Lincolnshire County Council and the Environment Agency over delays in dealing with the flooding.

Mr Sellers says there has also been confusion about whether the road has been open or not.

He said: “We’ve had more than three weeks with the main road closed and a huge diversion.

“They (Lincolnshire County Council) started clearing the road last Thursday/Friday and now it is open again.

“The road closure cuts us off from both ends - Market Rasen and Caistor.

“We are isolated.

“We haven’t got a village - there is no other custom other than passing traffic or people driving to get here.

“If it is advertised on the radio and social media that the A46 is closed, then people aren’t going to visit the pub.

“Even the Lincolnshire County Council website said the road was closed when it wasn’t. Nobody knew what was going on, and nobody really did anything about the problem until recently. It has had a massive impact on turnover. Some days we didn’t bother opening the pub.

“The county council are working on the issue and they are coming back - they will probably have to close the road again to fix it.

“There has been so much confusion over whose responsibility the flooding comes under.

“The confusion stopped anybody doing anything for ages. That has probably been the main cause of it going on for so long.

“It is a simple problem - there is a blockage and that could have been sorted in a matter of days.”

Mr Sellers has thanked Lincolnshire County Council for coming forward to solve the problem in the short term.

He said: “At the end of last week, everybody came out of the woodwork.

“They (Lincolnshire County Council and the EA) are still denying responsibility but highways have taken it upon themselves to get it fixed, and sort it out in the future.

“Now they are finally doing something - but my only gripe is, why has it taken so long?

“At this time of year we should be getting ready for the quiet times in January/February.

“We are a small country pub and we can’t stand many weeks of road closures.

“We use fresh food so we have lost a lot of stock.

“When the rain ceased, I expected the road to be open again.

“I have just been trying to carry on as normal.”

Over the weekend, the A46 in Holton le Moor has re-opened, but Mr Sellers says it will take time for business to get back to normal.

He said: “We have had one day open and the footfall was low.

“I would think it is going to take some time to build it back.”

Mr Sellers has also thanked ward member for Market Rasen, Councillor Lewis Strange.

He said: “It was only after I contacted Councillor Strange that anything seemed to happen.

“From there, I gradually started to notice some action from the county council.”

The Rasen Mail contacted Lincolnshire County Council for a comment.

Richard Fenwick, county highways manager, said: “There was further flooding on the A46 at Holton le Moor last week as a result of the heavy rain.

“Network Rail has now cleared the majority of their part of the culvert, but there are still issues with the drainage system on the adjacent land.

“Although this is privately-owned and not the county council’s responsibility, we have cleared the outfall and ditches to make future flooding less likely.

“We will then need to identify the owner of the drainage system to discuss arrangements for future maintenance.”