Thursday, 21 January 2010

Crisis meetings on water works road jam

Anyone who has tried to drive in the Askew, Paddenswick or Seven Stars area in the last few days will have been put off from ever doing so again for as long as the water works are there.

It seems the Council is now prepared to take action way ahead of the deadline for the water works to be completed. Cllr Lucy Ivimy, she of some notoriety, is a local resident. And she's livid. She angrily declares to the Brackenbury Resident's Association:

'It is now apparent to all that the traffic arrangements ... have gone horribly wrong. We shall be having crisis meetings on Monday to try and sort the problem ... we shall take immediate action ... this is not going to continue for nine weeks.'

Tough words, and not likely to be welcomed by Thames Water. The problem she is most angry about is that the roadworks are driving people to use other smaller roads as rat-runs. Including those with people like her living on them. So we'll shortly either be seeing the roadworks packing up and going away ... or a quiet retreat and nothing more from the Council on the matter! Just like the last time Cllr Ivimy spoke in anger.

UPDATE 21 JANUARY - Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Nick Botterill has been in touch, and feels that this article is unfair in that it fails to tell you about the other activities that the Council have been carrying out in trying to manage the impact of these works. So I'm more than happy to oblige, and to quote from Cllr Botterill, you should also be aware that:

"..knowing that massive disruption would result from these works (we actually got the timing shifted till now to try to reduce the cumulative impact with other major works in the area) a lot of work at H&F went into the planning for this. However I concede that the actual signage erected was not great (I believe this was down to the contractor). H&F officers have been on site regularly to assess the impact and have held several meetings to discuss what can be done. My understanding from talking to officers and Cllr Ivimy is that there have been improvements as a result of the changes to signage but that more needs to be done. We are due to discuss further today."

He goes on to say:

"Even though every effort is made to plan for these events and to mitigate the impact something of this scale can’t be carried out without a huge amount of unavoidable disruption"

All sounds fair enough to me and fair play that they've done what they could - but its still the case that the present situation needs sorting. So we wait with baited breath to see what the Council decides at this evening's meeting .. watch this space.

As an aside, Cllr Botterill is the same local politician who responded to another post on this blog last year about the state of Shepherd's Bush Green - and within about 24 hours he'd knocked heads together and got things sorted out. So credit to him again for that and best of luck for this.


  1. I drove down Goldhawk Rd on Monday evening 18/1/10, knowing that there was trouble ahead but expecting signs to direct, but the signs were so appalling that I ended up down a reidential street which was swarmed with cars in both directions and narrow, not suitable for heavy 2 way traffic, feeling awfully guilty and bad for the residents but REALLy the signs just by the roadworks were total garbage... you could not tell where the rd was closed and which way to turn. The signs pointed this way and that suggesting that there was a way through west, one way, and all sorts. The signs at the Green were unhelpful as they indicated that Goldhawk Rd was closed but it appeared completely open so all and sundry just motored on down. Chaos ensued! I know that the council has intervened to try to ameliorate but I ain't going that way for a while! So it just goes to show that if it is made hard enough for people they will find other ways.

    AND when the hell are they going to insist on the contractors cleaning up the mud on the footpaths on the Green? It has been a slurry for months, nay years!

  2. The 94 which I rashly took home from Westfield told me electronically that it was going on a diversion but didn't say in what direction. We all waited with baited breath. In fact my luck was in as it went down Askew Road (slowly) which is where I live.

    Imagine that! Buses on Askew Road! I nearly took a picture. The 266 has finally found a friend.

  3. [...] for the Environment Cllr Nick Botterill has been in touch, as promised, to share the results of this crisis meeting which the Council held last week over the waterworks road closures affecting Askew/Paddenswick [...]

  4. Of course, there is no connection (chinese walls and so on) but our Council and Thames Water are not exactly best friends, are they?

    "Thames Ecology and Heritage Team requested authority on 4 September to sink two small boreholes in Furnivall Gardens.

    » Ground excavation plan (pdf)

    Officers have been told that all CSO sites will require such investigations and that there was no special predetermination in selecting the Furnivall Gardens site. Thames are able to use their powers under the Water Industries Act to undertake exploratory works (which would not be particularly disruptive and would last only a few days) but would prefer to work with the local authority to determine a location which would be least disruptive and intrusive to local residents.

    Members have instructed officers to decline this request.

    Therefore for this work to proceed Thames Water will have to seek a warrant from the Magistrates Court to use their powers under the Water Industries Act.

    Site investigations within Chancellors Road and Queen Caroline Street could be accommodated within the public highway where Thames Water already have powers to undertake street works.

    There will have to be further separate reports on the individual sites once the draft site selection process has been published and the Council will have to develop a strategy and stance over future engagement with Thames Water"

    Is this the result of the "strategy over future engagement"?

  5. [...] Jonathan Prynn, Consumer Affairs Editor of the Evening Standard, is a local resident affected by the roadworks which are still causing almighty snarl ups in W12. I should know, coming back in a taxi from [...]