The Cookham Plan - Transport and Traffic




6   Flooding - Impact on Traffic and Parking

The last significant floods in Cookham were in 2003, after the Jubilee River was built.  For a time, the only access to Cookham Village, other than by boat or helicopter, was across the Causeway and Cookham Fleet Memorial Bridge (also known as the Causeway Bridge).  The roads across Widbrook Common, the Moor and into Bourne End were all impassable. 


Although it is not possible to say for certain that there will be floods in the future, contingencies for flooding need to be in place and in any case, the impact of climate change may mean that there is an increased risk of flooding in the future.



Commercial vehicle crossing the Fleet Memorial Bridge. 2003 (click for larger image)


The Fleet Bridge was inspected in 2001 (Babtie Group report B1236/AR), and the conclusions were that some remedial work was required.  These repairs have subsequently been carried out.  The bridge was found to be capable of carrying only 3 Tonnes Assessment Live Load, because of the limitations of the capacity of the side spans.  The bridge could therefore be used, in a flooding emergency, to carry traffic not exceeding 3 Tonnes.


It is essential that this link is maintained, as a contingency, to allow access to Cookham Village in the event of a flood cutting off access via other roads.  Traffic lights would be required to control alternate traffic movement this has been done in the past, although there were problems because of the distance between the traffic lights.  It is understood that the RBWM stores signage and temporary traffic lights at the Tinkers Depot.





Drivers ignoring the 2-way alternate traffic flow (click for larger image)


During the last floods, the signage did not alert drivers to the flooding, resulting in non-essential traffic crossing

into Cookham Village.  These provisions would be unlikely to be required for more than two or three days.


The recommendations of this group are:-


      that the bridge is inspected on a regular basis, say every five years or immediately after flooding.

      that any necessary repairs resulting from the inspection are carried out in order to maintain the bridge as an emergency link to Cookham Village.

      that RBWM Highways Dept. provides suitable temporary traffic controls and signage.

      that the Fleet is kept free of weed and obstructions to enable the water flow.