COMMUTERS faced extra delays on their first day back at work today after one of York’s busiest routes was again closed by flooding.

The A19 at Fulford was shut to traffic just hours into the New Year yesterday, with traffic having to enter and leave the city on other routes such as the A1079 Hull Road and Tadcaster Road.

The road was submerged after the River Ouse rose to 4.2 metres above normal summer levels in York following the heavy rain on New Year’s Eve. The river continued rising to about 4.5 metres by last night, and was expected to remain at this level for some time.

Pubs and other properties along Kings Staith were all under water yesterday, with businesses in Tower Street also at increasing risk of being affected as the river rose.

Weathermen said another band of heavy rain was set to cross the region today, although coming days are set to be much drier.

Cawood Bridge, on the B1222 near Selby, was also closed by flooding, and the B1222 York Road, which has been closed between Naburn Village and Naburn Lock Caravan Park since Christmas Eve, remained shut.

City of York Council said river levels were expected to stay high for some time, as there had been a lot of rain in the catchment area. “Therefore we’ll need to keep a close eye on transport tomorrow but currently everything is planned to run as normal,” said a spokesman.

He said about 20 members of staff had been working through the Christmas and New Year holidays on flood and surface water issues.

“These are drawn from our civil engineering and highways maintenance teams,” he said. “There are about 60 of them in total, so about a third have had to work over the holidays.”

In Norton, Mayor Di Keal said the River Derwent had been ‘quite high’ for the last couple of days, leaving residents anxious. “Water levels are still very, very high all over the place, the ground is sodden and rivers are high, it could flood again at any time,” she said.

“The flood defences worked fantastically, thank God we had those, but the surface water problem which can be addressed, needs to be addressed now.”