I wrote the following to the relevant department at the Council this morning:
“1. I am receiving a number of complaints about work not taking place for a majority of the day e.g. workers gone by 4pm. If true, this gives a terrible impression when the works are meant to be emergency. I would like a briefing on what hours are being worked and why they cannot be longer in these circumstances?
2. I received a call this morning stating that all of the lights were red and this was causing chaos. The person who called me had already contacted the police. I also reported this on ext 2222 at around 08:12am this morning. Please let me know what happened to that call and how quick the problem was resolved. I would also like to know what caused it?”
I received the following prompt response this morning:
“We have had the following update from TFL in response to other complaints this week, which addresses some of your concerns, although not all.
I take your points below regarding the difficulty of putting diversions in place. I can report that having had RTS ‘tweak’ some of the phase durations on site today traffic along Harlington road is flowing significantly better than it was yesterday. A London buses representative was on site monitoring the flow this morning and afternoon and reported that the wait duration during peak time was down to 18 minutes from 45 which, although still very long, is a huge improvement.
We have now excavated around the leak entirely and temporarily stopped it. The details for the special kit to be made have been passed to the company who are manufacturing the repair kit tomorrow and I have booked them for Thursday morning for its installation. The kit utilises a fluid substance that requires 5-6 hours to solidify and this time must elapse before the hole is back filled. I have agreed with our reinstaters that they will be on site at 4pm on Thursday to back fill the hole and we intend to tarmac it on Thursday night. This would enable site to be cleared early on Friday morning.
Until the repair kit is fitted there is no work that we can do on site. I appreciate that a vacant site is frustrating for members of the public but due to other ongoing work load I will not be able to maintain a site presence tomorrow. A team will inspect the site, excavation and trench support at the start and end of their shift tomorrow as part of our normal procedures.”
This afternoon, I received the following:
“I understand you have received the information update from National Grid on Wednesday which explains why the operatives are not on site at all times. They are waiting for the specialist repair kit to be made. It is frustrating for the general public that they are experiencing huge delays and unfortunate that they are seeing the site is unmanned, in some circumstances the Utility has no option but to leave the site unmanned. It may have been useful for National Grid to display a courtesy board to explain exactly what is happening. I have responded to the complaints received this week to explain the circumstances and the majority of people who complained were happy with the information given but stated they did not see a courtesy board although the area inspector has been to site on a daily basis and confirms there are courtesy boards on display.
Regarding the temporary lights failure this morning – The contractor notified the company – Road Traffic Solutions – as soon as they were aware of the failure. There was a fault on the temporary lights; apparently the lights will default to red until fixed and they were fixed at 10.55am.
National Grid is in contact with the area inspector and will inform him of any change to the proposed completion on 21.10.2011.”
When I complete, I will request that the Council, TfL & the National Grid determine some Learning Points for similiar situations in the future.