Ford has lent a helping hand to hard-pressed council staff investigating the damage from the devastating December floods which hit the north of England. Ford Ranger 4x4s were deployed to help the City of York and Cumbria County Councils with the clean-up and repair efforts, and continue to support vital recovery operations.

Ford Rangers provide the ability to tackle challenging terrain, particularly acute in Cumbria, where 6,500 properties were flooded and 1,600 bridges have had to be surveyed for damage. Two Rangers are still in daily use in the county.

Peter Hosking, Cumbria County Council's highways network manager, explains: "While the county's A-roads have for the most part been unscathed, we have numerous B-roads and single-track roads damaged by water run-off, and they have had to be inspected and closed where necessary. With so many road closures, just getting around and finding a route can be challenging, and the Rangers have been a real lifeline to allow our surveying teams to get access to those difficult areas.

"Our fleet isn't huge so the loan of these Ford Rangers has certainly added to our capacity, helped staff to get about, and has made a big difference."

Ford Rangers were also loaned to York council to help with the city's fortnight-long clean-up.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: "Everyone in Britain was horrified by the floods which hit the north last month, and have been impressed by the resilience shown by the people of Cumbria and York as they battled the floods and salvaged what they could. We are pleased to play a small part in helping those on the front line with what will be a lengthy battle to tackle the many challenges in the affected communities."

Ford Rangers are helping to survey bridge damage Ford Ranger 4x4s were deployed to help the York and Cumbria Councils 6500 properties were flooded in Cumbria