The route of the eastern bypass went across the flow of the underground water. It was ridiculously close to the borehole from
which drinking water is drawn.
The water flows in the porous chalk sub-strata, downhill from the escarpment.
But the water is not far under the ground. Oil would easily soak through to it.
What if a fuel tanker vehicle was to accidentally come off the embankment, crashing onto the ground below and splitting, spilling its
oil or petrol?
A priceless water source risked being lost forever by a ludicrous project.
To ensure against all accidents, the road would have had to be within a costly high-sided concrete channel throughout its
route through the Wellhead Valley.
The bypass in W(C)C's bid was to be in an open cutting at the top of the valley (eg: in the ground...!) and on a
low-sided embankment by the water source.
The fundamental problem was a bypass on the escarpment side of the town.
Here are the ground-water zones
threatened by W(C)C's Eastern Bypass.
The Environment Agency had serious concerns about the WCC bypass design, describing the County Council's environmental
statement as deficient. The EA was concerned about the too close proximity of the Eastern Bypass route to the
Wellhead public water source and the potential for harm during construction.
The EA said that W(C)C's consultants showed a worrying lack of understanding of the basic facts. The EA referred to
the fact that the Wellhead source feeds into the overall public water supply network based at Upton Scudamore.
Here is some further comment on the relative exposure to