FLOOD defence barriers were put up in Bradford on Avon in the early hours of Wednesday morning after fears that the River Avon would burst its banks.

The metal Geodesign flood protection barriers were installed at 2am by the Environment Agency after the organisation had issued a flood warning.

John Potter, of the Bradford on Avon Community Emergency Volunteers team, said the agency had issued a flood alert and then a flood warning as river levels continued to rise.

He said: “We received the first flood alert at 9.40am on Boxing Day and then a more serious flood warning at 5.36pm.

“The river levels were continuing to rise after the heavy rain on Christmas Day. At 1.06am on Tuesday, we were told the situation was getting worse and to be prepared to act.

“But the Environment Agency came out at 2am and put up the flood defence barriers themselves alongside the River Avon.”

The defences stretch for about 75 metres and comprise metal flood protection barriers with tarpaulin tied over the top and sandbags at each end.

The community emergency volunteers team was formed by Paul Robertson four years ago after Bradford on Avon town centre was hit by severe flooding following days of heavy rain.

Environment Agency spokesperson Ian Withers said the barriers had been installed as a precaution and would remain in place for the next few days while the situation was being monitored.

“We are looking at an improving picture in Bradford on Avon. We set up temporary flood barriers shortly after 2am as a precaution to protect low-lying commercial and residential properties. When water levels reach a trigger point it is standard procedure for deployment.

“The Bradford on Avon Community Emergency Volunteers are doing a great job keeping everyone updated of the situation and there is one flood alert in place for the area.

“We continue to monitor the situation and will leave the barriers in place for the next few days as a precaution against further foul weather.

“We encourage everyone who fears they are at risk of flooding to stay informed by checking the latest flood warnings at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings.”