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Site Visit 2: Bradford

by Claire Walsh last modified 2007-08-08 13:52

Twenty seven researchers and stakeholders met in the impressive surroundings of Bradford City Hall for the second SKCC Study Day on 19th February 2007.Researchers came from the Universities of Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and University College London. There were a number of stakeholders from Arup and BuroHappold, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Bradford City Council, JBAConsulting, BW Consulting and the UK Climate Impacts Programme. The purpose of the day was to study the research into urban flooding and the application of research projects, such as the BKCC project AUDACIOUS (Adaptable Urban Drainage- Addressing Change in Intensity, Occurrence and Uncertainty of Stormwater).

The visitors were welcomed to Bradford by Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. Following the introductions Professor Richard Ashley of the University of Sheffield introduced the audience to the work of the Audacious project. Tony Poole, Principal Drainage Engineer of the City of Bradford, presented the visitors with the work being carried out in Bradford and how the research carried out under Audacious and work being conducted by the Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC). The final speaker of the morning session was John Blanksby of the Pennine Water Group and the University of Sheffield. John highlighted the need for the research to develop workable and cost- effective tools that drainage engineers can use when considering urban drainage. During the morning visitors had the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. The morning session was rounded off by a presentation of locations within Bradford where work was being carried out.

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John Blanskby's presentation 

Lunch was taken in the Saville Room of Bradford City Hall where visitors were able to discuss with the speakers the presentations of the morning session.

The second part of the day was based in nearby Keighley where visitors were shown how the urban street pattern and poor planning can exacerbate the problem of local flooding. John and Tony showed how quickly rainwater could be channelled along roads and pavements to cause flooding. At Devonshire Park in Keighley visitors saw how more effective channelling and storage of rainwater will lead to a reduction in the incidence of flooding Tony and John showed how planning without regard to flooding has led St Andrews Primary School in Keighley to be frequently flooded as the streets and pathways channel water to the front entrance.  Visitors had the opportunity to observe local scale actions being undertaken to alleviate the problems of flooding. Such measures included the simple measure of raising the kerb to channel water away from paths and drives and efforts by the Council to move water underground. Throughout the day the cost of flooding, social and emotional as well as economic was highlighted.

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Our sincere thanks go to Bradford City Council for hosting the day and providing refreshments, Professor Richard Ashley and particularly to Tony Poole and John Blanksby for leading the day and making it so thought provoking.


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