Woman kayaks down busy industrial estate road to highlight problem of persistent flooding

This footage shows the moment a woman hopped in a kayak to row down a busy industrial estate flooded road.

Haven Road, in Colchester, Essex, is frequently left under as much as one metre of water, as high spring tides bubble up through the storm drains - leaving many cars unable to pass along the road.

And to highlight the persistent flooding problem - which happens as often as every other week - one resident hopped in a kayak to row along the flooded road.

Environmental campaigner Bryony Coles, 30, carried her kayak from the banks of the River Colne - 300 metres from Haven Road - to the industrial estate in the early hours of last Friday morning (May 28).

And she was surprised to find that the water was actually deep enough for her to comfortably paddle through in the boat.

Bryony, who lives on a houseboat on the River Colne, said: "The flooding on Haven Road has been the talk of the town for a while now.

"I've been curious to see whether it would actually work if I took a kayak down there and attempted to row down it.

"I didn't even think it would actually be possible, as I didn't think there'd be enough water.

"When I got in the kayak and actually started rowing, I couldn't get my head around the fact that I was actually doing it, and the water was deep enough.

"I had planned it out meticulously to go down there at a time when I wouldn't be getting in the way of any other cars. I wouldn't recommend anyone else go and try it.

"There was one van that drove through the water while I was down there, and he stopped and gave me the thumbs-up out his window as he passed me, which was quite funny."

Bryony added: "I know it's silly - but I really wanted to do it to highlight what is actually a complex, wider issue."

Bryony said that the Haven Road - approximately 300 metres inland from the banks of the River Colne - ends up flooded almost every other week, as high spring tides rise to as much as 4.7 metres deep.

She said: "It's worst at nighttime, when the tides are at their highest. You can see it surging and bubbling up through the storm drains on Haven Road.

"The water gets to about three feet deep at its worst. I'm five foot tall, and it comes up to just above my knees.

"I've seen people who work on the industrial estate having to climb over fences in order to get into work in the morning, because of the flooding.

"If you've got a car with a low engine, like a BMW or something, it's almost impossible to pass through there, because your engine will get flooded."

Bryony said that the tides change on a weekly basis, between a lower, neat tide, and the higher spring tides - which can rise as much as five metres deep.

And she said: "Even when it's a neat tide and the road doesn't flood, we're left with a really slushy mud covering the road."

Bryony says she has been in touch with Colchester Borough Council regarding the flooding problem.

But she said: "It's going to take a lot of different teams to get the problem sorted out.

"It's not just the storm drains - they need to look at dredging the river, too.

"But there's lots of protected species along there - we get a lot of seals, otters, and some endangered bird species, too.

"So it's quite a complex issue."

Last month, a petition was set up by Labour ward councillors Mike Lilley, Lee Scordis and Adam Fox set up a petition calling for the issue to be sorted "once and for all".

The councillors have written directly to bosses at Colchester Council, Essex County Council and Anglian Water about the issue.

They have also contacted Colchester MP Will Quince, and Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs minister George Eustace, asking for them to work together to sort the issue.

Essex County Council said at the time it "welcomes and looks forward to further discussions with all concerned parties as we try to identify a long-term solution together".

Almost 600 people have so far signed the petition, which can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/anglian-water-work-together-to-resolve-flooding-on-haven-road?