PUMPS, pipes and sandbags were used today to keep two key York roads open and free from flooding after the River Ouse rose to its highest level in six years.

Tower Street, below Clifford's Tower, and the A19 at Fulford have both been blocked by flooding from the Ouse at times in the past.

But City of York Council managed to keep both routes open this time round. It sealed off the entrance to Tower Gardens with giant sandbags and then pumped remaining floodwaters back over the wall and into the gardens, including pumping out a drain on the Tower side, with a pipe laid across the road to take the water to the wall.

A similar operation was carried out on the A19, with water pumped from drains over a wall. Fulford councillor and council leader Keith Aspden said a £4.9m package would complete joined-up flood defences for Fulford, including an extension to a flood wall, a new flap valve on the Germany Beck Culvert and a new pumping station.