Rising barriers are needed to warn drivers that water levels at a ford crossing in Charvil, Reading, are dangerous, the commander of the town's fire station has said.

Last week, an elderly woman tried to cross the ford, on Park Lane, in her VW Golf, and was carried some 400 metres down the Loddon tributary due to swollen waters, the Maidenhead Advertiser reports.

She had to be rescued via her sun-roof by two farm workers, and when fire fighters arrived at the scene they rescued her Labrador dog from the car's boot.

"We are going to lose someone at that ford and it is utterly ludicrous because it is so avoidable," Jess James, the station commander of Caversham Road fire station, told the newspaper.

Mr James said barriers that can rise automatically, or warning lights that alert drivers, when water levels reach a certain depth, need to be urgently installed.

"We almost lost that lady, I can't tell you how close we were, and something really needs to happen there," he told the newspaper.

Earlier this month, the Reading Chronicle reported that a motorist attempted to drive through the ford, despite warning signs.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800344060-ADNFCR