Not more water works on Hampton Court Road, one way working under traffic light control. This morning traffic backed up all ways - to Sunbury Cross, Thames Ditton, along High St... when will this ever stop!!

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Road works,  Thames Water are back again on THAMES STREET/HAMPTON COURT RD this bank holiday weekend.  So no trains, buses on slow and not a chance of driving anywhere in HC direction, it looks like a stay at home weekend.

TIME FOR SOME ANSWERS FROM TW AND AN APOLOGY.  perhaps our new MP could take this up for us in Hampton/Hampton Hill and soon please.  School holidays are upon us and summer hols too, please please do something to help!!!!! We don't want a repeat of last summer where we were stuck for four weeks with having to drive via Timbuctoo to get out and about.  Not exactly ECO friendly.  Come on lets hear from someone in authority and soon.

I sent an email request for support to our new MP several days ago; no reply yet. Charitably, I assume she's bogged down with settling in etc. I certainly hope that's the case!

Steph B said:

Road works,  Thames Water are back again on THAMES STREET/HAMPTON COURT RD this bank holiday weekend.  So no trains, buses on slow and not a chance of driving anywhere in HC direction, it looks like a stay at home weekend.

TIME FOR SOME ANSWERS FROM TW AND AN APOLOGY.  perhaps our new MP could take this up for us in Hampton/Hampton Hill and soon please.  School holidays are upon us and summer hols too, please please do something to help!!!!! We don't want a repeat of last summer where we were stuck for four weeks with having to drive via Timbuctoo to get out and about.  Not exactly ECO friendly.  Come on lets hear from someone in authority and soon.

This is just completely crazy, there can be absolutely no planning going on here. They finished the works early last weekend, and I was pleased, but now I see there's no reason to be cheerful about it. Unbelievable. I am sure our MP is rather busy too. Which one of our councillors is involved with this, I wonder. We shouldn't really need to prod them though, it's such a big and obvious problem. Grrrrr.




Steph B said:

Road works,  Thames Water are back again on THAMES STREET/HAMPTON COURT RD this bank holiday weekend.  So no trains, buses on slow and not a chance of driving anywhere in HC direction, it looks like a stay at home weekend.

TIME FOR SOME ANSWERS FROM TW AND AN APOLOGY.  perhaps our new MP could take this up for us in Hampton/Hampton Hill and soon please.  School holidays are upon us and summer hols too, please please do something to help!!!!! We don't want a repeat of last summer where we were stuck for four weeks with having to drive via Timbuctoo to get out and about.  Not exactly ECO friendly.  Come on lets hear from someone in authority and soon.

We're all saying we need to hear from Thames Water, so I've stuck my neck above the parapet and written to the CEO. I hope no-one minds; here's the letter.

Dear Mr Baggs
I am writing to you directly as I don’t know which of your three named persons on the website would cover this issue.
I am writing as an individual, but taking it on myself to do so on behalf of the residents of Hampton (in the London Borough of Richmond) and other users of Hampton Court Road (A308), following numerous complaints on the local web forum.
Over the last few years this road has been regularly dug up by Thames Water (or its agents), accompanied by one-way light-controlled traffic working, which causes absolute chaos in this area. Hampton Court Road (HCR) is a main artery (an “A” road) and bus route which runs between Kingston, the M3 and Staines, as well as being the only route off the north of Hampton Court Bridge – a busy Thames crossing. So by “absolute chaos” I mean that during the daytime these roadworks cause traffic to back up for 2-4 miles along the A308 in both directions, across Hampton Court Bridge and down Hampton Court Way for 1-2 miles, with additional major back-ups on all roads that join HCR. Thames Water has tried to minimise disruption by doing works during weekends and school holidays, but the road is simply too busy for this to make much difference.
This must cost millions of pounds in extra fuel use, missed appointments and delayed busses, not mention anger and frustration.
You will, I’m sure, have access to records to show in detail how often this road is dug up for or by Thames Water, but my subjective impression is that these works take place every couple of months or so. I don’t know whether the work is required for mains water or sewage, but each time causes the extreme congestion and disruption I’ve described above.
The frequency of these works indicates that the pipework infrastructure under the road is severely degraded and urgently needs replacing. Therefore I – and every other resident in Hampton and Molesey – would like answers to the following questions:
  1. Does Thames Water plan to compensate local residents for the recent years of disruption (frankly, we deserve some share of the funds that otherwise go to your shareholders for the impositions we have suffered as a result of these works);
  2. What are your plans for strategic, once-and-for-all repair or replacement of the infrastructure under Hampton Court Road?
  3. And until this is done, what plans do you have to mitigate the impact of further necessary repairs on residents and other users of this road?
  4. And will you be able to co-ordinate strategic work with British Gas, which also often digs up the same road, albeit not as frequently as Thames Water.
I look forward to your prompt and informative reply. 
I will post a copy of this letter on the local People’s Forum and will also share your reply on the Forum.
Yours sincerely
Fabulous......can't wait for a response.

Well done

 Thank you, Ian lets hope you receive a reply and sooner rather than later.   I did check TW website but there is very little information to be had.
Ian Lancaster said:

We're all saying we need to hear from Thames Water, so I've stuck my neck above the parapet and written to the CEO. I hope no-one minds; here's the letter.

Dear Mr Baggs
I am writing to you directly as I don’t know which of your three named persons on the website would cover this issue.
I am writing as an individual, but taking it on myself to do so on behalf of the residents of Hampton (in the London Borough of Richmond) and other users of Hampton Court Road (A308), following numerous complaints on the local web forum.
Over the last few years this road has been regularly dug up by Thames Water (or its agents), accompanied by one-way light-controlled traffic working, which causes absolute chaos in this area. Hampton Court Road (HCR) is a main artery (an “A” road) and bus route which runs between Kingston, the M3 and Staines, as well as being the only route off the north of Hampton Court Bridge – a busy Thames crossing. So by “absolute chaos” I mean that during the daytime these roadworks cause traffic to back up for 2-4 miles along the A308 in both directions, across Hampton Court Bridge and down Hampton Court Way for 1-2 miles, with additional major back-ups on all roads that join HCR. Thames Water has tried to minimise disruption by doing works during weekends and school holidays, but the road is simply too busy for this to make much difference.
This must cost millions of pounds in extra fuel use, missed appointments and delayed busses, not mention anger and frustration.
You will, I’m sure, have access to records to show in detail how often this road is dug up for or by Thames Water, but my subjective impression is that these works take place every couple of months or so. I don’t know whether the work is required for mains water or sewage, but each time causes the extreme congestion and disruption I’ve described above.
The frequency of these works indicates that the pipework infrastructure under the road is severely degraded and urgently needs replacing. Therefore I – and every other resident in Hampton and Molesey – would like answers to the following questions:
  1. Does Thames Water plan to compensate local residents for the recent years of disruption (frankly, we deserve some share of the funds that otherwise go to your shareholders for the impositions we have suffered as a result of these works);
  2. What are your plans for strategic, once-and-for-all repair or replacement of the infrastructure under Hampton Court Road?
  3. And until this is done, what plans do you have to mitigate the impact of further necessary repairs on residents and other users of this road?
  4. And will you be able to co-ordinate strategic work with British Gas, which also often digs up the same road, albeit not as frequently as Thames Water.
I look forward to your prompt and informative reply. 
I will post a copy of this letter on the local People’s Forum and will also share your reply on the Forum.
Yours sincerely

I've had a reply from TW:

Our Ref: 33173713

Hampton Court Road

Dear Mr Lancaster

Thank you for taking the time to write to our Chief Executive Officer, Martin Baggs, to raise your concerns in regards to our work on Hampton Court Road. I’m Romeo and I’m your case manager. Martin has asked me to respond on his behalf and be your direct point of contact.

I’m really sorry you and your fellow residents have been affected by our works on Hampton Court Road. We always try to keep the disruption caused by our works to a minimum but that hasn’t been the case in this instance. The recent disruption could not be avoided as this was an emergency repair which could not be delayed and we were unable to provide advance warning to road users and the residents.

The initial investigation was raised as a non-urgent job to locate and repair two valve boxes that control flows on the large transmission main that runs down Hampton Court Road (HCR). Our intention was to inspect the area and then agree the necessary traffic management measures with the local council which would have given advance notice to motorists in the area. However when we arrived on site we found that there were two holes in the road that represented a danger both to motorists and our water mains which meant we had to bring in two-way traffic lights as a matter of urgency to enable the necessary repair to be completed safely. The permit we agreed with the local council at short notice was valid until 12 May but we were able to complete the repair and reinstate by the road on 7 May.

Does Thames Water compensate local residents for the disruptions?

We recognise the disruption street works can cause and the impact this has on communities and local businesses. I understand the disruptions have been very frustrating and inconvenienced the residents over the years, however, these works are necessary to make sure we have a fully functioning network. Any residents directly affected by this will receive payment under our customer guarantee scheme (CGS), which is automatic.   

What are your plans to replace the infrastructure under HCR?

The works on Hampton Court Road this year have been part of our ongoing Trunk Mains Leakage Repairs programme to tackle leaks on the large transmission mains leading from Hampton Water Treatment Works. This is designed to find and repair leaks on these pipes before they worsen and potentially burst which would affect water supplies for our customers in the area as well as causing damage and huge disruption.

What are your plans to mitigate the impact for further necessary works?

We have been working closely with the London Borough of Richmond to try and reduce the impact of these works. At Richmond’s request we have planned most of the work to take place during school holidays and weekends when traffic volumes on Hampton Court Road are lower. We have used electronic early warning signs at strategic points to advise motorists in advance so they can plan accordingly and have sent letters to residents closest to the areas we are working so they are aware of when work is starting. We have also recently issued a press release in the Richmond and Twickenham Times to try and reach an even wider audience to ensure as many road users as possible are aware of any likely disruption.

Will you be able to co-ordinate strategic work with British Gas?

As previously mentioned, we work closely with Richmond council to reduce the impact of our works. Wherever possible, we will try and work with other utilities companies but unfortunately, this isn’t always possible and is dependent on the nature and location of the work.

I hope this information is useful. If you need to speak to me about this again, please call me on 0800 0093932. Our offices are open between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

Yours sincerely

Romeo Boateng

Executive Office

So I replied:

Dear Romeo
And, through you, to Mr Baggs.
Thank you for your prompt and informative reply, which demonstrates that you meet your commitment to respond within two working days to issues raised with the Thames Water senior management.
Unfortunately, though, your reply doesn’t provide the information I requested regarding Thames Water's plans to replace the main that runs under Hampton Court Road.
You state that you are repairing this main through your Trunk Mains Leakage Repairs programme, but the very title of that programme indicates that it is not adequate to deal with the situation under Hampton Court Road. Yes, of course, leaks must be repaired quickly, but the fact that this main is springing leaks every couple of months – as seems to be the case judging from the frequency of your having do dig up the road to repair those leaks – surely indicates that it needs replacing, not repairing.
I don’t know when this main was put in, but it is evidently not robust or flexible enough to withstand the pounding that it is getting from the heavy traffic on this road - “heavy” both in quantity and tonnage between around 07.00 and 20.00 every weekday. My guess is that it dates from the late 19th Century, around the time of construction of the Water Treatment Works, when traffic on Hampton Court Road was horse and carriage, not 40-tonne lorries!
But whenever it was put in, it is obviously not adequate to today’s environment, and having the road dug up for repairs every couple of months, with the concomitant traffic disruption, is disdainful to users of this busy road.
So I repeat the request for information about Thames Water’s plan to replace or otherwise rehabilitate this main for 21st Century conditions. This is necessary infrastructure investment, not a luxury! It will presumably even save TW money in the long term.
Incidentally, you seem not to be aware of the frequency of disruption. You state “… but we were able to complete the repair and reinstate by the road on 7 May.”, so why has it been dug up by or for Thames Water this bank-holiday weekend and the weekend of May 15th? That’s three sets of roadworks, where you only refer to one; and this illustrates my point about the frequency of TW works on Hampton Court Road.
 
I look forward to your further reply with the answer to my question.
Yours sincerely

Thanks Ian for your letter from Romeo.  As you say it doesn't really answer all the questions.  I wrote last year to our councillors and they also wrote to a CEO and the department of works for Richmond council.

I suggested we install a bailey bridge, perhaps the one not needed in Walton as they had new one.  That went down like a ton of bricks OK it was a bit pie in the sky.

Time to think outside the box and do something constructive to relieve our pain.

1. A full calendar of roadworks due for the rest of 2015.

2. Please check with the other utilities to see if they have similar plans and COMMUNICATE with each other. 

3.Find out if the trains will be disrupted during TW works(they too use school holidays to repair track etc.)

4. Please let residents of Hampton/Hampton Hill know sooner.  A board near KOT bridge/Scilly Isles r'bout/   and HC r'bout is not enough for us living in the local Hampton area.  Often we find out after the work has started.

5. That Bridge across to Molesey?

6.Horse and carriage service by way of compensation to Hampton Court palace in the holidays!! 

And finally if the first set of works was an emergency...how were TW able to leave and return for two more weekends.  Not that much of an emergency by all accounts.  Dig up the whole road and give us some peace.

What price Kempton Park supposedly planning lord knows how many houses/shops/and other facilities?  Don't get me started.

And here's the holding reply from TW:

Dear Mr Lancaster

I’m really sorry that you’re disappointed with the response sent to you by my colleague Romeo Boateng. Your claim has been escalated to me as part of our complaints procedure at second stage.

I’m reviewing your case and will respond to the points you have raised no later than 9 June.

In the meantime, should you have any questions, please call me on 0800 0093965. Our offices are open between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely

Aman Verma

Customer Relations

Full reply - still unsatisfactory I feel. Short-termism and shareholders before customers and residents. And I see that there's more work to come at the bottom of Percy Road!

Our Ref: 33173713

Hampton Court Road

Dear Mr Lancaster

Following on from my last email, I understand the concerns you have with our mains which run under Hampton Court Road. I’m sorry the mains don’t qualify to be considered for replacement as it doesn’t meet the criteria at this stage. The mains are around 70 years old and are still in an acceptable condition to meet the demands of our network. Replacement of these mains will be considered major works and may lead to many months of interruptions on Hampton Court Road.

As previously mentioned in Romeo’s email, we currently have a Trunk Mains Leakage Repair programme in place which has resulted in the road works and traffic disruptions on Hampton Court Road. This programme has been introduced to tackle leaks on the large transmission mains leading from Hampton Water Treatment works.

Before we carry out any works or put any kind of traffic management in place, in a non-emergency situation, we must get approval from the Council. The Trunk Mains Leakage Repair programme has been approved by the London Borough of Richmond as these works are essential. Leaks on our mains can result in a burst which could have detrimental effects on the road users and cause serious damage to the roads.

We always try to keep the disruption caused by our works to a minimum and I’m sorry that you and other motorists in the area had their journeys disrupted by our repairs on Hampton Court Road. It’s clear we made mistakes in the planning of this repair and I can assure you this has been fed back to senior managers in our planning team to ensure we learn from these errors and do not repeat them when arranging future repairs.

The repair that took place on 6 and 7 May was an emergency repair to holes that had developed around two water valves which control flows on the large water mains that run along Hampton Court Road. Our planning team should’ve provided Richmond Council with more notice of the repair as we have been working closely with them to try and reduce the disruption caused by our works in the area. This error meant we only provided two hours notice before installing the barriers and traffic lights on the early evening of 6 May. Unfortunately, this resulted in long delays for road users and due to the need for lights we couldn’t complete the repair until the next day when we repaired the valves, reinstated the area and cleared the road.

The traffic management that was in effect on 15 May wasn’t related to our Trunk Mains Leakage Repair programme but was due to us having to resolve a seepage investigation for a customer. We needed to construct a new survey chamber on our trunk main and these works started on 15 May and ended on 24 May.

You have every right to be frustrated with the traffic delays that these works have caused and I understand that by giving prior notice we may be able to reduce the effect that our road works have on motorists. Our planning teams are committed to providing as much notice as possible in the future for works affecting Hampton Court Road.

I hope this answers any remaining questions you may have. If you have any further questions, please call me on 0800 0093965. Our offices are open between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

Yours sincerely

Aman Verma

Customer Relations - Executive Office

Here we go again! No notice, no warning, but Thames Water is again digging up Hampton Court Road. Heads and brick walls come to mind. LBRuT at least gave us notice that they would be re-surfacing at the beginning of November. Presumably for TW this is an emergency leak – yet again a demonstration of why investing shareholder funds in a replacement programme would be better in the long-term than all this short-term and very disruptive fix it when it's broke.

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