Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Replacing The Victorian Mains And The Problems It Is Causing

A few weeks ago, when I was having Internet problems and was having to use the computers at the local library, I wrote a post about the noise that was being made just outside the library. I commented that as the roadworks were outside a school on the corner opposite the library that I hoped that they would be finished before the children went back to school.

I know that these works are necessary and are part of the programme to replace London's Victorian water mains, but they are causing havoc in the local area and look set to carry on for some time yet around here. Among the problems that we have had to put up with is bus stops being put out of use as it is impossible for the buses to stop where the roadworks are. In the main this is not too much of a problem for me as having to walk to another stop does mean that I get a bit of extra exercise, but unless I have been where the roadworks are in the last day or two, I am never sure which bus stops are in operation and which aren't, and, as I said, the extra walk is not a problem for me but it may be for some of the more elderly residents.

Anyway, I went out this morning to collect a parcel from the local sorting office and to do a bit of shopping. I hadn't walked in this direction for more than a week, so I wasn't aware that a new set of roadworks had been started and that the main road on which the local library and the primary school are situated, is now down to one lane for a distance of about 100m or so. This means that the bus stop nearest my home is now out of use, but more importantly so is the crossing outside the school.

The road is a busy one, and can be extremely difficult to cross, so the pelican crossing outside the school is the one safe place to get from one side of the road to the other. During term time there is a lollipop man to help the children across morning and afternoon, but the crossing is also used by those of us wanting to get to the library, as the library is situated on a bend and the pelican crossing is the only safe place to cross.

A three-way temporary traffic light system has been put into place to control the flow of traffic, but I can't help wondering how difficult things are going to be in a couple of weeks when the children go back to school. The length of time that it takes to do each of these stretches that the workmen dig up, means that it will probably be something like a month, or perhaps more, before things get back to normal. So why have they left it until the end of the school holidays to start on this stretch of road?

I have to admit that while the work has been going on in my local area, I have wondered a number of times who is in charge of deciding which bit will be done when. And why do the workmen seem to be taking quite so long to do the work?

I just hope that the sub-contractors who are being used aren't involved in any work for London 2012 because it is certain that they wouldn't manage to get it done in time!

No comments: