Plumstead Common Road - the most dug up road in London?

CONSERVATIVES in Greenwich have discovered that Plumstead Common Road has been dug up approximately 500 times over the last two years.  That’s the equivalent of a different hole in the road every day and a half

Following complaints by a resident on the road, Conservative leader Cllr Spencer Drury questioned the council about the work.  He received the following reply:

“Apart from the Council's safety maintenance works and improvements to bus facilities, our records show that four separate utility companies have carried out works. In total there were approximately 500 separate schemes in the last two years but most of these have been very minor, for example service connections to households, street lamp bulb changes etc. and would cause minimal disruption.

The major schemes were those undertaken by Thames Water as part of their Victorian Main Replacement project for the area. The methodology of the project required excavations to be kept open for long periods because the equipment located there was used to regulate water pressure across the area to ensure water supply was not interrupted during the works period.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson introduced a Roadworks Permit Scheme to coordinate work on individual roads so that problems like this did not arise.   16 boroughs signed up in January this year and two more in March.  Despite saying they would join, Greenwich has still not done so. It is expected they will in 2011.

Local resident Mike Sullivan–Jones was angry by the amount of work done on his road.  He said “We have had to face no end of temporary traffic lights, holes in the road and surrounding areas just fenced off and left unattended for months on end and a seemingly endless progression of works that continues to this day.

“One day, a company will dig up the road, work on it and then fill it in and resurface it , only for the next day another company to do the same thing.  There is no coordination at all. Not only is this a criminal waste of public money but is also affecting local shops who have lost thousands of pounds in trade.”

Cllr Spencer Drury, Leader of the Conservative Group on Greenwich Council said “Once again Greenwich’s Labour Council has failed to work with the Mayor of London to help local residents.  The majority of London Boroughs are already part of this scheme, but Greenwich is, predictably, lagging behind.   I urge the Labour Party to stop putting party politics first and start working for the good of the people of Greenwich."

This story can be seen in the local press at