Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Flooding: Were Pitt recommendations adopted? – ICE vice president

A senior water engineer has called for a review of the effectiveness of flood risk measures after floods devastated parts of northern England last week.

ICE vice president and water panel member David Balmforth told NCE it was time for clarity about how well the recommendations in the 2008 Pitt Review had been implemented.

He said heavy flooding in York came after a long line of localised flood events over the past 12 months.

“We need to ask whether [the flooding] is because we haven’t responded to the Pitt recommendations or whether it’s just extra rainfall,” said Balmforth.

His call comes after severe rainfall hit north west, north east and south west England and northern Wales causing two deaths and widespread damage.

Worst affected

North Yorkshire was the worst affected with a month’s rainfall falling over two days according to the Met Office. Flooding forced the temporary closure of the A1 and the East Coast Main Line and affected a number of towns and cities.

The Pitt Review was conducted after the devastating floods in the summer of 2007. Balmforth said although there was no repeat of the concentration of floods seen in 2007, there had been numerous local flooding incidents.

He said a review should be led by the Environment Agency supported by a professional body - such as the ICE or the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Sheffield University professor of urban water Richard Ashley said little had improved since 2007.

He said the low loss of life and relatively low impact of flooding on infrastructure last week was down to the location of downpours rather than because of flood prevention measures.

“The major city to be struck with flooding was York,” said Ashley. He said York residents were more prepared as they had suffered similar events in the last 10 years.

Readers' comments (1)

  • In fact I said in the interview that I thought a lot had changed at least in some attitudes. I support Defra's changes to the GIA funding whereby local communities part-fund.
    My biggest disappointment is that the Environment Agency still exists! It is too controlling and corrupt (with a small c) having been around too long. It's schizophrenia between the quality and quantity components is also not good for England. It is clear why the EA will no longer exist in Wales as of next year.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.