DREDGING the river Severn would cost millions of pounds and would not stop flooding anyway, according to one expert.

Phil Foxley, from the Environment Agency, said dredging would have no long-term benefit and would significantly effect the ecology and infrastructure of the river.

Mr Foxley was responding to comments posted on our wesbite worcesternews.co.uk, after your Worcester News reported on the new flood defences being built to protect Hylton Road in Worcester.

The defences include a clay bund, brick wall and demountable barriers, but some readers suggested dredging the river would be more beneficial.

“Dredging is not a long-term solution to the problem,” said Mr Foxley, who is project manager for the Hylton Road flood defence scheme.

“It would cost hundreds of millions of pounds and it would not last, as soon as the river floods you would be back to square one.

“At the same time you have to look at the ecological impacts, it would have a significant impact on the fish and all the things that live in the river.”

He added there would be a severe impact on the bridges, including the main road bridge in Worcester.

“You would be dredging below the foundations and you would have to replace the bridge,” he said. “The earth bund is the best option to protect the Hylton Road.”

The £650,000 earth bund scheme, currently being constructed, will protect 13 homes and several businesses along Hylton Road from flooding.

It will stretch from the last house on the riverside of Hylton Road to opposite Chequers Lane, interrupted by a brick wall for access to Sabrina footbridge.

The earth bund is due to be completed in time for the winter and clay is being brought up from Upton Marina, delivered along the river Severn by barges.

l We are happy to make it clear that the headline ‘Clay bund will not keep out flooding’ in last Friday’s Worcester News referred to a reader’s opinion that the barrier in Hylton Road would exacerbate flooding in Barbourne and Diglis.

It was not intended to convey the impression that the barrier would fail to protect Hylton Road.