Scaremongering Wont Work Mr Fazackerley
People reading today's Lancashire Evening Post will see Cliff Fazackerley, of the Ribble Link Trust's letter making the false claim that a barrage that raises the river level can somehow protect us from flooding.
"I am sure the people who live in the lower Penwortham and Walton-le-Dale areas would prefer a 'Save our homes' campaign before a 'Save the Ribble' campaign."
He points to rising sea levels and global warming and argues that Riverworks would be the way to protect us from this.
"The 21st century is here and unless we act soon parts of our area could see flooding like we have never seen before."
The places that are MOST at risk from tidal flooding from the Ribble are Crossens, Southport, Hesketh Bank, Hundred End, & other lower-lying communities, all DOWNSTREAM of the proposed Riverworks barrage - any barrage would INCREASE the floodrisk to downstream communities.
The simple truth is however that such a barrage would offer NO effective protection from tidal flooding to people in Preston, Penwortham and Walton Le Dale as it would have already raised the river to high tide level, and that it would INCREASE the risk of river flooding during periods of heavy rain or snow melt because it would be a barrier preventing the free outflow of spate waters. (Not to mention other effects of a barrage such as raising the ground water beneath our homes).
Anyone who has seen the raw power of the Ribble in spate understands how stupid it would be to put any kind of barrier in between all that water and the sea.
If Mr Fazackerley's predictions about global warming are true, then the river is likely to be in spate more often and more severely, making a barrage or weir even more dangerous to local people.
Those in favour of the Riverworks scheme include Architects and Property Consultants who stand to gain considerably from such major buliding developments, unlike local people who will see their valued green spaces disappear under housing and roads.
The fact that these individuals are resorting to scaremongering in order to try to terrify us into supporting their unpopular development plans is a sign that they know they are losing the argument.
The Ribble Link Trust, The Vision Board and our Council Officials need to do their homework and read the Shoreline Management Plan and the River Ribble Weir Appraisal. These documents would tell them all they need to know about how to defend our homes from tidal flooding, and why a barrage is a potentially disastrous option for those of us who live near the Ribble
The River Ribble Weir Appraisal offers clear, well documented evidence that any weir or barrage across the river raises the flood risk to local people.
If the Ribble Link Trust, the Vision Board and our Council Officials had actually read this document, they would know that the whole idea of a barrage is impractical and dangerous to local people.
That's why the Save The Ribble Campaign is campaigning to defend local residents' homes from the increased flood risk that would be caused by the Riverworks barrage, and increased further by building 4000 houses in it's floodplain, as well as to save our beautiful river from what would be an unmitigated ecological tragedy.
The interests of local people, and the interests of our river's ecology are one and the same, and we are certainly not going to be railroaded into supporting the irresponsible Ribble Barrage scheme by Mr Fazackerley's wild and unsubstantiated scaremongering.
The people who live near the River Ribble are a key part of it's environment, just as much as all the fish and the birds it supports, so let's save the Ribble, and our homes, by putting a stop to the Council and Vision Boards' schemes to build this barrage once and for all.