Thames Water Blamed for Traffic Chaos

Overrunning works cause misery for thousands

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Wandsworth Council has delivered a broadside to Thames Water about overrunning works which caused traffic chaos in the borough recently.

Repairs to a water main at the corner of West Hill and Merton Road caused traffic misery for thousands of Londoners last Friday.

Thames Water had told Transport for London they would finish the work and reinstate the road surface before 6am to avoid causing hold-ups in the morning’s rush hour.

Instead they missed their deadline and continued to work throughout the day causing major tailbacks on the A3 and the South Circular.

Southfields, Putney and the Wandsworth one-way system were brought to an almost complete standstill.

Cllr Guy Senior, Wandsworth’s transport spokesman said the situation could easily have been avoided, “There was no need to work through rush hour. If they hadn’t finished the work they should have downed tools, opened the junction then resumed work in the evening when the roads are clear.

“Instead, thousands of Londoners spent hours stuck in traffic today and the cost to the wider economy will be enormous."

The Council say they will be writing to Thames Water to express their concerns about the incident.

A spokesperson for Thames Water said, "Work to repair a burst main on the corner of West Hill and Merton Road was unfortunately delayed, after the pipe was found to be encased in concrete. This meant engineers couldn't repair it as quickly as planned, and additional materials had to be brought to the site. The repair, which was due for completion at 6:30am on Friday, was completed at 11:30am on Friday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

July 15, 2009