If you were kept awake last night by the roadworks on Deptford Church Street you will find no comfort in the fact that major works in this area are set to continue for another three and a half years.
These works, commissioned by Thames Water for their super sewer project, could be a taste of what is to come on the western side of Deptford Church Street. And, of course, the context is of very significant building work across the area which already causes considerable noise, dust and traffic and parking problems. The combined effect is to make a living here a lot less comfortable.
It is important that you do complain if you are disturbed. It may make no practical impact in the short term but it does help us argue for better protection for residents in future and to assists our campaign to improve liveability in this area.
The Thames Water 24 hour helpdesk phone line is actually staffed 24 hours a day so if you are inconvenienced by the works going on along Deptford Church Street we recommend you ring them and make sure you log a formal complaint. They do respond even in the middle of the night. Last night they were able to establish by about half past midnight that the works would continue for up to another two hours which proved to be correct, though the news was of no particular use to anybody. It was not mentioned in any of their publicity, which had blandly referred only to the road closure.
So, if you want to complain or find out more about what’s going on then the telephone number of the 24-hour helpline is 08000 30 80 80 or you can email them at email@example.com. Copy in the council at firstname.lastname@example.org
And look out for their community liaison working group meeting on 28 November. Details from email@example.com
Thames Tideway Tunnel Limited has organised an ‘informal drop-in session’ for the evening of 28 July at the Creekside Centre. It’s not clear, as usual, who has been invited, but presumably they’ll welcome everyone since their last efforts to engage us were so dismal. It presents a good opportunity to see how they’re getting on with the works, how they’re managing the traffic (there’s a lot of unhappiness locally about how the bus stops have been moved – without shelter or seating) and what the next steps are for implementing the section 106, which promises among other things controlled parking zones, support for the school, local employment etc. This is summarised elsewhere on this blog site. Come along if you can. Details below.
TIDEWAY – Deptford Church Street and Greenwich Pumping Station
Thank you for your interest in joining the Deptford Church Street and Greenwich Pumping Station Community Liaison Working Group. We look forward to meeting you.
An informal drop in session will be held on Thursday 28 July, 5pm-8pm at the following venue:
Creekside Discovery Centre
The team will be on hand to answer your questions.
We look forward to seeing you then, however, if you are unable to attend, please let us know.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to speak to someone, please call our 24-hour Tideway Helpdesk on 08000 30 80 80.
Strike a light – it’s a smokers’ paradise!
Local residents are seeing Deep Purple now that it has come to light that Thames Water’s first community ‘benefit’ is a makeshift smokers’ shelter on Crossfields Green, Deptford.
J Murphy & Sons’ first strike in their £multi-million contract to build the controversial Thames Tideway Tunnel was to construct an open-fronted plywood shed to protect the tobacco-loving teachers at nearby St Joseph’s Primary School from the elements.
The decision has ignited passions as local people say it will encourage smoking near the school and impact on the local environment. They point out that the contractors have already been responsible for damage to the green spaces locally, including by using Crossfields Green for parking.
“There’s no fire in the sky, but there’s definitely smoke on Thames Water!” says Nick Williams of campaign group, Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart. “But unlike ageing rockers, Deep Purple, Thames Water continue to demonstrate how out-of-touch they are. The Tideway Tunnel is an expensive, environmentally nonsensical anachronism that will add £80 a year to every Londoner’s water rates. They would be much better investing their energy on something that would truly light up the local community.”
Editor’s note: apologies to anyone who has not heard of Deep Purple. I’m guessing that’s pretty much anyone under the age of 50!
Thames Water, or ‘Tideway’ as they have now styled themselves, have set out the timetable for the next phases of preparatory works in and around Deptford Church Street.
From late September there will be 15 months of disruption as contractors J Murphy & Sons work up to 55 hours a week to relocate the utilities around Crossfields Green.
The works will be in four phases and will be concentrated on Coffey Street and Crossfields Street for the first seven months before moving on to the potentially much more disruptive Deptford Church Street for the remaining eight. Here, the busy through road will be reduced to one lane in each direction for four months at a time in each direction, though efforts will be made to provide for pedestrians, cyclists and to relocate the pedestrian crossing. Although entry to the school and church will be preserved, any movement in and out of Bronze Street and Berthon Street will be prevented for up to four months.
The details and map will be published here soon. The help desk, for those with queries, can be contacted on 0800 0721 086. The next meeting of the Community Liaison Working Group is promised for October.
What is unclear is what part of the site the contractors will occupy. Though their notification talks about fencing off and moving in equipment, it is not obvious where this enclosure will be. We have sought clarification and will report back here as soon as we have an answer.
Map shows the trial trenches
Thames Water propose to dig a minimum of seven trial trenches in the pavements and roads surrounding Crossfields Green over a three week period, starting on 27 July.
Precisely what they’re looking for isn’t explained but these ‘ground investigation works’ will presumably give some clues about what they’ll have to tunnel through. They’ll no doubt give us a taste of what’s to come as some of the footpaths will be closed and the plan seems to suggest that at least one of the northbound lanes in Deptford Church Street will be dug up.
On balance doing this work in August is probably good timing, especially for the children at St Joseph’s, and the traffic will no doubt be quieter. But it is likely to reduce use of the Green during the summer holiday. Regrettably this loss of amenity does not mean Thames Water will have to fund anything for the community under the section 106 agreement (the ‘compensation’ contract between the council and Thames Water,) this will have to wait until the works start for real. Deep joy.
Thames Water extended it’s lamentable record of community engagement last week by failing to invite local residents or businesses to a ‘community liaison working group’ meeting on 2 July.
By their own admission, notice of the meeting was delivered only to properties within 100 metres of the Crossfields Amenity Site. But even this appears to have been done poorly since a poll of supporters of this group found that not one person recalled seeing this notice.
Local Councillors were invited at relatively short notice and consequently had to give their apologies. When they made enquiries on our behalf they were assured that Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart had been invited when we had not been (in fact, we never were).
And, when I asked for Thames Water to reconsider the timing of the meeting, Thames Water’s Head of Engagement, Phil Stride, gave a commitment to do so if the response to the emailed invitation looked likely to be low.
This promise was clearly not honoured since only four members of the public were able to make it. Had it not been for our efforts it is likely to have been less. As a consequence, the agenda for the meeting was officially abandoned. And, to add insult to injury, even though there was twice as many Thames Water staff as local residents, not one of them saw fit to record the updates that they gave to the attendees so that this information could be circulated.
One stalwart of our campaign did, however, make a note of the meeting and we hope to post this shortly on the blog site together with the rather entertaining official note of the meeting.
In the meantime we are pressing for the terms of reference to be circulated now so that a) we can see what the point of it is; b) we can all make a judgement about whether it’s going to be worthwhile; and c) we might be able to influence them if we get them in advance.
Watch this space for details!
Thames Water have announced details of their first Community Liaison Working Group. It takes place:
Thursday 2 July, 19.00-21.00
9 Giffin Street
London SE8 4RJ
If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone from Thames Water you can call their 24 hour customer helpline on 0800 0721 086.
Try to get along if you can. We hope to carry a report shortly after the meeting.