MORE taxpayers’ money looks set to be pumped into a flagship public-partnership scheme designed to protect a road leading to a key industrial estate from flooding – after it flooded three times in a month.

Despite the £4.1m scheme being designed to protect Dalton Bridge and Dalton Lane, near Thirsk, from a one in 100-year flooding event, alongside a 20 per cent allowance for climate change, Dalton Lane flooded on three occasions, in February this year – just 19 months after the scheme opened.

The main access road leading to Dalton Bridge Industrial Estate, the base for major firms including including structural steel specialist Severfield, Cleveland Steel and Tubes and Wagg pet foods, was inundated for about 15 days in total.

Three successive storms – Ciara on February 8 and 9, Dennis on February 15 and 16, and Jorge from February 28 to March 1 – resulted in thousands of homes and businesses across the country being flooded as well as widespread disruption to transport and other services.

While Storm Ciara triggered exceptionally high peak river flows, most notably across northern England, Storm Dennis predominantly affected Wales and central England.

A Hambleton council report states while the scheme was designed to protect against river water from the Cod and Thacker becks, flooding from other sources such as surface water had not been thought to be a significant risk.

It states an inquiry into the February flood events revealed various defects with the road drainage pipes “due to poor workmanship such as unsealed connections, open joints and sections of crushed pipe”, drainage pipes forming a “choke point”, and possible flood water piping beneath the flood banks.

It concluded the issues, combined with extremely high levels of groundwater, explained the flooding in February.

The report stated a “robust and comprehensive solution” to the issues would be to raise Dalton Lane to the same level as the embankments, which would cost up to £300,000. The report has proposed Hambleton council pays 50 per cent of the remedial works.

When it opened, businesses on the estate had said with the road raised 2.4m above the previous one they could assure customers they would be able to deliver products 365 days a year.

The firms had provided £1.5m for the scheme alongside £1.8m from the publicly-funded North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and £300,000 contributions from both Hambleton District and North Yorkshire County councils.

It said such a scheme should “give confidence that it covers all potential sources of flooding”.

Councillor Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council, welcomed the report and said the February storms had been “relentless and unprecedented”.

He added: “I welcome the comprehensive investigation report along with the solid recommendations which will safeguard us against a weather event like this in the future.”