Friday, 19 August 2011

Paul Burstow Responds

The MP for Sutton & Cheam, Paul Burstow, has written exclusively for The Worcester Park Blog to respond to readers' concerns about the length of time being taken to complete the water mains replacement works in Central Road. 

Blog readers have criticised the slow progress of the current round of water mains replacement works, which are not due for completion until March 2012. Sutton & East Surrey water, whose contractors are carrying out the works, have rejected a suggestion from one local business that working times on site should be extended during the summer months to take advantage of the the lower traffic volumes and longer daylight hours.

Mr Burstow writes:

"I’m sure you remember the large notices erected at the end of the last year in the approach roads to Central Road, warning of a lengthy programme of necessary works which various utilities companies needed to complete to improve the services running under this road. 

Your local Lib Dem councillors and I were alarmed to discover that if all works were to be completed independently of each other, there would be continuous road works for 18 months! Obviously, works of this length of time were something to be avoided as much as possible. However, by ensuring good co-ordination between contractors so as much work as possible occurred simultaneously, this was cut to about 10 months.

Once the replacement of parts of the gas main was completed, it was felt that residents should be given a rest from the problems, and a chance of normality for a period of time. However, now the summer school holidays have hit – meaning that traffic is at its lightest - it makes sense to re-start the programme. 

The work to ensure the safe and effective delivery of our gas and water supply is essential. Burst water mains are even more disruptive than this work and by their nature unpredictable - and ruptured gas mains are even worse to contemplate. 

I realise that this seems to be a problem without end, but I’m afraid that this is a necessary exercise to ensure the smooth-running of services – which could have progressed for almost double the length of time it will.

The scale of the works being undertaken is immense, and the time needed to accomplish each phase is, understandably, substantial. The required works include:
  • Replacing 919m of water mains – to take 80 days
  • Making 118 service connections – to take 78 days
  • Making 12 connections to joining mains in side roads – to take 24 days
  • Cleaning and sterilising the pipework by carrying out two chlorination procedures – to take 40 days
  • Carrying out two flushing procedures to flush out the chlorination chemicals – to take 14 days
I have been assured that the working area will be kept as small as practical, in an attempt to minimise the disturbance. The work by local councillors and others has meant that this process is as short as possible, and they continue to press to ensure that the work progresses as swiftly as possible.

At the end of these works, local residents will have the benefit of confidence in their water, gas and electric services, knowing that they are up to date and recently improved.

I will be sending out regular updates about the ongoing work and other issues which affect residents. If you would like to receive these, or if I can be of any other assistance, please email me at
paul@paulburstow.org.uk "