Please accept our apologies for the frustration and disruption caused as a result of our works carried out on Langstone Road yesterday (31st Jan 2017).
The planned work was associated with the renewal of existing water mains in the area, this work forms part of our commitment to renew 22km of our mains on an annual basis, at a cost of £4.4 million, to both maintain reliable water supplies to our customers and deliver high standards of water quality. Unfortunately the majority of our mains are located in highways and our renewal activities inevitably cause disruption to local communities whilst we are working. We do try to mitigate disruption wherever possible and we always liaise closely with the relevant authorities when planning and carrying out work in the highway.
In this instance we applied to Hampshire Highways to work on Langstone Road from the 30th January to 10th February 2017, with a specific exclusion between the hours of 06:30 – 09:30 and 16:00 – 18:30, due to it being a traffic sensitive road, as specified by Hampshire Highways. Hampshire Highways have responsibility for approving all works on the highway and our application was approved by them to carry out the works outside of the times shown above.
In accordance with our application we commenced work on the road at 9:30am yesterday. It became clear that significant disruption was being caused to road users and at 10:30am works were stopped. Unfortunately the work required to return the highway to an appropriate and safe standard takes time which meant it was not possible to remove the traffic management equipment immediately. The highway was returned to a usable condition at 2:15pm at which point all traffic management equipment was removed and the highway returned to full operation.
It is clear now that overnight working should have been considered, to reduce the disruption to the Hayling Island residents and business owners. The volume of traffic experienced had not been fully appreciated and whilst we complied with the guidance of avoiding peak times for this work it is now clear that it should not have been undertaken during daytime.
Please be reassured that we have put immediate steps in place to ensure a reoccurrence of this disruption does not occur again as a result of our works. We will also be conducting a full review of how this activity was planned and approved to ensure that our working practices are improved for all future planned work.
Whilst we fully understand that this does not help with the delays and disruption that were experienced yesterday, for which we are sorry, we hope that this statement does provide some reassurance that we recognise that errors were made yesterday and we will work to ensure that these are not repeated in the future.