It is unacceptable that Worple Road could be closed until 9th September.
This has been going on for too long. It was able to open for Ride London, yet will remain closed for a significant period disrupting the lives of Wimbledon residents.
I have complained to Thames Water and Merton Council about this. I also asked if public transport can be put in place to help the residents who have been cut off, and if any compensation would be available.
Please see the responses I have received below.
From TFL - 14/8
Thank you for your email regarding the emergency roadworks on Worple Road. I’d like to reassure you that we’re liaising closely with LB Merton to ensure that bus services are restored to the area at the earliest possible opportunity.
rry for any inconvenience caused to passengers while bus are diverted as a result of the closure of Worple Road. As you know, this decision was taken by London Borough of Merton on safety grounds.
While we do work with local authorities, utility companies and contractors to plan and provide the best possible service during works, such planning is unfortunately not possible with emergency closures such as this.
As referenced by Mr Nagle below, it is not feasible to arrange a shuttle bus for a closure of this nature and duration for a number of reasons including sourcing the vehicles, an operator and staffing roster (which can take longer than 4 weeks) and agreement on how to fund such a service (e.g. LB Merton, Thames Water, TfL, etc).
If any of Stephen’s constituents affected by the closure are over 85 or have mobility issues, they may wish to consider finding out if the Dial-a-Ride service may be helpful, details of which can be found here, or the Taxicard scheme run by London Councils, details of which can be found here.
From Merton Council - 13/8
I can confirm that the diversion route is checked every day by the traffic management company working on behalf of Thames Water to ensure all signage is still in place. The area Street Works inspector has also checked the route however we will be speaking to Thames Water to see if extra signage can be placed on site to ensure vehicle movements are clear.
In relation to the actual works I spoke to the Thames Water’s contractor Cappagh who are currently occupying the site who have had no less than three further leaks and have found a leaking gas main at the location. We believe the gas main was previously abandoned however this still needs to be confirmed. The damaged sewer which is the main cause for the works is now being prepared for a 10 metre section replacement. Unfortunately works of this nature are not the easiest to plan as the ground and asset conditions are unknown and has been already proven, the damages from the original burst water main are still being established.
Unfortunately there is very little Thames Water can do to provide access for residents for 72/74 Worple Road as the foul sewer goes directly underneath the footway. Parking permits have been issued for some residents who use this entrance on alternative side roads close to the location.
I have contacted TfL Buses regarding the potential of providing an alternative bus route or shuttle service however this needs to be agreed between Thames Water and TfL Buses. Representatives from TfL Buses did state that it usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks to provide this type of service which is normally used for planned works. I am currently trying to organise a meeting with Thames to discuss this issue and to ascertain what they can do with the situation in mind that the schools go back at the beginning of September. I will endeavour to keep you informed of any progress when more is known.