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.