Council finds ways to limit road disruption

Merton Council’s efforts cut the time Thames Water spent digging up one of the borough’s busiest roads from two weeks to just two days.

The water company had wanted to dig up both carriageways of Morden Road in order to connect a coffee shop at South Wimbledon tube station to the mains. The intensive works would have caused motorists severe upsets but Merton Council insisted the firm found an alternative access area.

Initially Thames Water had been reluctant to alter its plans but the council met with the water company and arranged for the works to be carried out in the pavement – leaving the roads clear. The change of plans meant that rather than taking two weeks the works could be completed in just two days.

Merton Council also constantly monitors works carried out by Southern Gas Networks (SGN) in Merton Road. The council held meetings with the company – which wanted to replace old pipes in the area – and introduced new traffic management measures in order to cut delays to motorists. These changes meant SGN was able to finish the work four weeks earlier than originally thought.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: “The council is always looking at ways to minimise any disruption to residents caused by necessary road works and this can mean taking on utility companies and persuading them to try out new methods they might not otherwise have considered.

“I am pleased that in these instances Thames Water and SGN were willing to work with us, and because of this the works were finished far more quickly – and caused far less upset to residents – than they would have been otherwise.”