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Coroner hears group’s city bridge concerns

Published date: 25 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A FLOOD action group has called on a coroner to consider if poor flood protection contributed to the death of a pensioner.

North Wales coroner, John Gittins, met with a member of the St Asaph Flood Action Group last week to hear their concerns over how the Spring Gardens Bridge could have had an impact beyond the A55 during the floods in November 2012.

Flood group member John Wynne Jones said the bridge caused the water to go over the bank towards Tai’r Felin, where 91-year-old Margaret Hughes, who died during the floods, lived.

Mr Wynne Jones said: “The residents’ action group thinks the water overtopped the defences because of obstruction at the bridge and went beyond the A55 and contributed to her death.

“I contacted Mr Gittins in October and he wanted to listen to some of our evidence and information to help him reach a conclusion.

“He said it is almost certain we will be called up to give evidence and if we are not called as witnesses we can still attend the inquest and ask to speak.”

The St Asaph Residents Action Group believes the Spring Gardens Bridge caused the back flow of the river towards the A55, but Natural Resources Wales has refuted this.

Reports commissioned by NRW have previously highlighted that the Spring Gardens Bridge poses a significant impact on the flood risk in St Asaph but in a report with Denbighshire County Council they said the bridge was a small contributing factor.

Mr Wynne-Jones said the action group went down to the bridge every hour during the night of the floods and videoed and took photograpghs of the blockage that caused the water to rise.

A spokesman from NRW said: “While we are looking at the possibility of raising the Spring Gardens Bridge, this was only a small contributory factor to last November’s flooding, and due to the sheer amount of rainfall that fell during that period, even without the bridge, flooding would still have occurred.”

An inquest into the death of Mrs Hughes by Mr Gittins will be held on February 28.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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