A multi-million pound scheme to help safeguard Pickering against flooding has been welcomed by bosses at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
The Slowing the Flow scheme, which cost £2m to implement, will significantly improve protection for the town and the railway station. It will also help to underpin the future success of the Railway.
An important part of the scheme has been the construction of a flood storage area near Pickering Beck to store water in times of heavy rain. Together with other initiatives including planting trees to form barriers and constructing woodland dams, the new scheme has been designed to hold back 120,000 cubic metres of water at times of intense rain and peak flow.
That is good news for the Railway, which operates steam and diesel-hauled trains for most of the year, connecting Pickering with Levisham, Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby. Operations were seriously disrupted in 2007 when the town suffered from major flooding and the station tracks were water-logged.
The Slowing the Flow scheme has attracted Government funding and been made possible thanks to a partnership of organisation. It was given an official seal of approval last week by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Elizabeth Truss MP.
Nigel Trotter, Infrastructure Director at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “The flood defence scheme will go a very long way to ensuring that during periods of intense rain, our heritage railway and Pickering town will remain unaffected. This gives our passengers peace of mind, and it reduces the risk of damage to the track bed. Without the initiative there was always an ongoing worry of possible flooding.”