Another 'Whaley Bridge' in the making?

Published: Thursday, 26 September 2019


THE residents living in the shadow of Earlswood Reservoir at Solihull are concerned that the the reservoir could create another 'Whaley Bridge' disaster and cause them to be evacuated.

They are worried as the dam has the same problems of a collapsing bank as the Whaley Bridge reservoir that caused a mass evacuation of the residents, Roger Fox reports.


As the picture shows, the dam is deteriorating with it surface collapsing, exactly as the Whaley Bridge reservoir, with the added worry that there is a road on the top that carries heavy vehicles, resulting in residents wanting it to be closed whilst the dam is properly maintained.

The three lakes that make up the reservoir, that feed the Stratford-on-Avon Canal at Bridge 16 are owned by Canal & River Trust, and as can be seen have suffered the same failure of its dam.

Same design as Whaley Bridge reservoir

What is so worrying to the residents is that the dam is the same design as that at Whaley Bridge, a puddle clay core construction, but is 20 years older, with the failing bank showing that there could be the possibility of collapse.

There are dwellings below that would be swamped in the event of failure, being in the direct path of a subsequent flood.

Canal and River Trust is ultimately responsible for maintaining the lakes, and the Environment Agency is the body responsible for enforcement, with the Agency stating that reservoirs have an excellent safety record!

Landslip caused chaos

During 2018 there was a landslip that caused chaos, yet no one came to sort it out and it was left to residents to divert the traffic to avoid complete failure.  It is believed the overweight lorries that use the road were to blame, and why they believe the road should be closed until the collapsing bank is made safe.