Hello Folks

I'm the bearer of bad news.  A gas leak has been identified near the Lion Gate entrance to Bushy Park. Unfortunately this means that traffic is being managed by three way lights so on top of the roadworks for Thames Water this looks likely to cause yet more delays.

Of course this is something of an emergency so it's important that the crews get to the bottom of the problem and fix the leak.  The initial timescale being offered to the council is that it SHOULD be cleared by tomorrow afternoon.

So if you can take the train or the bike to get around then I strongly advise that you do so - because even if you're driving to avoid the Hampton Court Road, you can bet your bippy that many others will be doing exactly the same

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Can imagine that must be stressful for you. I've just walked past at 4 and no one there. It's so badly planned. Hope it finishes tomorrow.

An update from Nick Haplin at LBRUT

Dear  Mr Cook

Thank you for your email, the contents of which are noted. 

Unfortunately Thames Water have not provided an update of any real substance.  I can however advise anecdotally that the Thames water Team will be off Hampton Court Road (barring an “act of God”) by COP Friday 20/05, or hopefully even earlier. 

Thames Water have indeed had another emergency leak on Station Road, Hampton, however due to various infringements (including a less than functional set of temporary lights) and much congestion on the immediate road network, we have instructed them to remove the traffic lights and to clear the site.   The team will however return at a later date (with a fully functioning set of lights), when there is less activity on the remaining network, to repair this leak.

Utility firms have a legal right/duty to attend and maintain their apparatus on the public highway.  We apply fines whenever possible and issue reprimands regularly to all the utilities and I promise you that we are working hard to ensure that utility companies abide by the rules and strictures we have applied to their permits, however as you can appreciate it is an ongoing battle. 

Kind Regards, Nick

Nick Halpin

Streetworks Technical Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Network Management

Tel: 020 8487 5172

Email: nick.halpin@richmond.gov.uk

Good work Ian!

Agreed good work Ian, haven't been down Station Road today to see if that was true.  My son came over and we had to go all around the houses (he came from West Molesey) to get to Shepperton I was on a birthday trip out. In the end we decided much quicker to use Walton Bridge and go back that way, and thank goodness their road works weren't there today, so had a relatively good run through.  Even he said it's ridiculous all this upheaval and having to work out a  different route. Obviously it affects them as ell as they cannot get over HC Bridge. Please let us have a few weeks off before all the mayhem of traffic starts again with extra traffic for the events at HC and the bike ride.  Just a few weeks of calm would be appreciated

The reply from Nick Haplin at LBRUT is completely unacceptable.

He has not addressed the following:

1. LBRUT started to receive a large number of complaints from the beginning of April 2016. Why has it taken so long to identify such as simple problem as 'the wrong type of traffic lights'?

2. Why did members of the public have to point out to LBRUT that there was a severe lack of planning regarding the combined street works activities in the area?

3. We are still waiting to receive detailed information regarding the impact on travel times, especially for public transport. Why haven't we received this?

4. We are still waiting for information regarding the levels of pollution due to the stationary traffic in close proximity to residential houses, schools & businesses. Why haven't we received this?

5. Why have the working hours (stated within the permits issued by LBRUT) not been enforced nor adequately monitored by LBRUT?

Finally, Mr Cook states that Thames Water have not provided an update of any substance. Why are LBRUT allowing this? Does it not suggest the the utilities know that LBRUT are ineffective when trying to monitor the works and therefore hold no authority on the matter. Mr Cook states that he and LBRUT are working hard to ensure the utility companies abide by the rules. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of this whatsoever. All monitoring of late has been performed by the general public. For example, it's taken three weeks to identify the 'wrong type of traffic lights'.

I feel very concerned and embarrassed for the person(s) who are ultimately responsible for the suffering of thousands of people due to the lack of very basic skills & procedures - planning and monitoring.

This should never be allowed to happen again, lessons must be learned.

I'm not defending the situation but the defective traffic lights in Nick Halpin's email were the ones put in Station Road on Monday.

An update on the shifting sands that is the cabinet. Owing to the fact that Cllr Arbour has been elevated to chair of the London Assembly he has stood down from his cabinet role for performance and community safety. The vacancy has been filled by Councillor Speak. So we now have a new cabinet member for highways, Cllr Buckwell.

So all NEW correspondence on this ongoing issue to cllr.pbuckwell@richmond.gov.uk
I fully expect him to pass the buck well too......

I cannot believe that Stephen Speak has a new position. Only yesterday I received his reply to my email regarding the chaos in Hampton.  Why did he not tell me in his colleague had taken over. Perhaps that is why Gareth did not receive a copy. Well he has now and grateful for it too.

Right I am about resend to the new member for highways Cllr Buckwell. No wonder we have suffered for so long. They are too busy moving up the b....y ladder. Angry Stephanie

Stephanie wow you had a reply. Mr Speak did not deign to respond to me.

Well you unlikely to get one now. So do what I have done and bombard him with copies of your emails sent to Stephen Speak and forward to P. Buckwell. Let's fill his inbox too DONT GIVE UP WE DESERVE BETTER.  

Just resent mine as well to Buckwell

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