Thursday, 10 April 2014

More on Well Lane Chaos


Residents of Well Lane continue to suffer as road resurfacing work drags on.  

Whilst the work is yet to finish it has now been decided to recycle the materials off-site and to resurface the road in sections.  This has meant some of the heavy machinery has been moved off the road.  Some small respite for the embattled residents and businesses.

Part of the road remains closed because of a damaged sewer which Thames Water will be tackling.  Residents have advised there have been issues with this part of the sewer in the past.  The question is why was this not picked up on the site survey carried out before work began?

And of course, even once this is over, residents have yet more disruption to come when new speed humps are installed at a later date.

UPDATE - More Well Lane Chaos

With a road resembling a war zone and news that resurfacing works will run over into next week Well Lane residents were surely already suffering enough.

Unbelievably things got worse when the Easter Holidays were greeted by a triple disaster cocktail of sewage leak, water leak and gas main leak.  

The sewage leak was fixed promptly on Thursday afternoon.  Repairs to the water leak, which cut off water supply to homes, were delayed until the gas main damage was fixed but was restored that evening.

A separate small water leak is still affecting the Well Lane / Gregory Close junction this weekend but worse another sewage leak happened on Saturday afternoon.  Sewage poured down the road and residents suffered a horrible stench.

Well Lane residents have suffered a catalogue of chaos in the last week as contractors have been working to resurface the road.  Poor communication has left residents trapped, they have been disturbed by unauthorised late night work and given a new water fountain courtesy of the contractors.

Residents have very much welcomed the resurfacing, which was much needed on this road, but they did not ask for the chaos the work has caused and are concerned that speed calming measures will not be put back in place immediately during this phase of work.

Residents do not recall receiving notice of the works and a number of residents found their way blocked when they tried to leave homes in Well Lane, Holyoake Avenue and Crescent and Well Close.

Residents were disturbed by work on site that started at 10.30 pm.  One resident called the police thinking that no legitimate work would go on at that time if night and that drain covers were being stolen.  I had to start making phone calls at 11.30pm on a Thursday  evening to get this work stopped.  It took until Friday to confirm that overnight work was not authorised.  Despite this the contractors still tried to work on Friday night and I again had to make late night phone calls to get the work stopped.

Speed humps will not go back as part of the current programme of work as the style of humps used in Well Lane is now outdated.  Surrey has failed to design the scheme for new humps or to do the required consultation with residents.  Contractors will have to return to the road to install speed humps at a later date.

This catalogue of chaos is a failure of communication, a failure of contractor control and a failure in works planning.  To add insult to injury the contractors hit the water main yesterday and treated residents to a spectacular new water fountain.

I have asked the county council how they plan to improve future communications about roadworks, what sanctions will be brought to bear on the contractors who caused serious disruption to residents by working late at night without permission and chaos by hitting a water main; and when the traffic calming will be reinstated.

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