Monday, 19 October 2009

Water and Gas Mains replacement works - Kennington Park Road and Borough High St

I am writing to make you aware of the next stages of the major utility mains replacement programmes that have been ongoing in Southwark for some months. Thames Water and Southern Gas Networks (SGN) will shortly commence a further series of works to replace their mains on TfL’s roads in the borough. These works are necessary because the gas and water service infrastructure is ageing and must be replaced to reduce the likelihood of future leaks and bursts, which are very disruptive to users of the road network and to local people and businesses.

The first phase began on Newington Butts, Southwark on 19 October, and is scheduled to be completed by 1 November. We do not expect the works to have a very great impact on traffic overall. This phase will involve lane closures while maintaining two-way traffic flow. No diversions to traffic are necessary. We will however monitor traffic flow in the area carefully and will act as required to mitigate any disruption as far as possible.

The second phase will begin on 2 November at the junction of Kennington Lane and Kennington Park Road, and is scheduled to be completed by 27 November. The works will require the right turn from Kennington Park Road into Kennington Lane to be closed for the duration of this phase. Traffic will instead be diverted via Kennington Park Road, Harleyford Street, Kennington Oval, and Harleyford Road before rejoining Kennington Lane. Once completed Thames Water’s works will require the closure of a traffic lane between Penton Place and Kennington Park Place. Work at Kennington Park Road is scheduled to be completed by February 2010, although Thames Water will cease work over the Christmas period (from 18 December – 4 January). We expect these works will have only minor impacts on traffic and no diversions are necessary.

From 30 November, Thames Water and SGN’s current joint working on Borough High Street will move into a new phase involving a full closure of the southbound carriageway of Borough High Street at its junction with Southwark Street. Borough High Street will remain available for northbound traffic however southbound traffic will be diverted via Southwark Street, Southwark Bridge Road and Marshalsea Road. This closure will be required until June 2010, during which time approximately 1000m of gas and water mains will be replaced.

TfL has worked closely with Thames Water, SGN and London Borough of Southwark to plan these works to have the least possible impact on traffic, local people and businesses.

We have brought forward the works at Newington Butts and Kennington Park Road so as to avoid conflict with development works at Elephant and Castle and ensure the phase of the works involving the diversion is completed before Borough High Street goes one-way.

We will ensure that the water mains replacement in Tooley Street (due for completion on 14 November) is completed before Borough High St is restricted to one-way traffic only.

Various further action has been taken by TfL to mitigate disruption arising from the works. For example, in respect of the Borough High Street closure:

  • Ensuring the gas and water mains are replaced simultaneously. This will reduce the works duration, and disruption to local people, by seven months.
  • Careful planning and co-ordination with the London Borough of Southwark to ensure there is no conflict with other major works and other activities in the area (e.g. Shard development)
  • Development and use of traffic light plans to help keep traffic moving in the area and particularly on the diversion routes
  • Strategic use of fixed-position Variable Message Signs (VMS) to inform drivers of the works and allow them to take alternative routes
  • Deployment of five mobile VMS signs by Thames Water and SGN to supplement fixed-position signs
  • We are seeking the agreement of Southwark’s Environmental Health Office to extended working hours and 7-day /week working.

Communications to users and residents have included:

· Letters from Thames Water and SGN to local residents and businesses

· A open public consultation meeting was held by Thames Water on 21 September for the Borough High Street works

· VMS will be deployed as mentioned

· TfL is making information about the works available to local London radio for broadcast and to the Metro, and on-line.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 305 1234 or at londonstreets@tfl.gov.uk.

Yours faithfully

Customer Services – London Streets

Transport for London

Surface Transport Communications

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