All bunged up: Thames Water’s concrete scheme for the sewers

No through road: the Thames Water emergency works could take at least another 10 days

Our transport correspondent, JEREMY CLACKSON, on the major road works in Selsdon that have sent buses on lengthy diversions

No notice: diversions and road closures came without any warning

The withdrawal of almost all bus routes in some parts of the south of the borough may be down to a careless builder bunging up one of Croydon’s main drains.

That’s according to contractors who have been digging a hole in Farley Road for the past week, carrying out emergency sewer works on behalf of Thames Water.

Residents in parts of South Croydon, the Ballards Estate and all of Croham Valley have  been without their bus services for five days. The disruption could continue until the end of the month, according to Thames Water.

The loss of the 64 and 433 buses will continue until at least November 30.

The original estimate was that the works might continue until December 5.

The closedown of the two routes came without any notice, after Thames Water sent in contractors to cope with emergency works that now block the entire roadway at the top of Farley Road, near Selsdon.

Contractors have told residents that the entire sewer needs to come up after being blocked by a massive 12-metre-long bung of concrete.

It is a mystery how so much concrete has been put down the drains. Thames Water’s contractors speculate that any builder found to be responsible will be pursued for costs by the utility company.

Only slow progress is being made on an 18-metre excavation underway in the middle of Farley Road.

Detour: some older residents are feeling cut off, unable to get their usual bus

Meanwhile, there are no bus services between Coombe Road and Selsdon along South Park Hill Road, Croham Road, Croham Valley Road and Farley Road.

The area has an older-than-average demographic. These older residents, who need to use public transport to go shopping, to collect prescriptions or to visit their GP, are facing serious difficulties.

Residents in Croham Valley face a walk of at least a mile to the nearest tram stop or to Park Hill or Selsdon for other bus stops. Trams and buses to New Addington are unusually crowded, as the 64 and 433 buses get delayed by going via a long diversion up and down the Selsdon and Upper Selsdon Roads to the south, instead of the usual route to the north of Croham Hurst.

For some, the inconvenience is even worse.

Contractors say that in houses up the hill from their works site, residents are unable to use their toilets properly.

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11 Responses to All bunged up: Thames Water’s concrete scheme for the sewers

  1. Paul Reitman says:

    Sad to say, I doubt that “careless” is probably the wrong adjective to apply to the possible builder. Chances are that in view of the current cost of getting rid of waste material, the dumping of such was intentional by someone believing they were untraceable

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Intentional is right.
      Same as not suspending bays, not putting tops on scaffolds when taking roofs off not putting up sheeting or dust barriers. All the things in the building code listed in most developments conditions.
      Croydon Councils answer to that?
      ”The Building code of practice is a voluntary agreement and not enforceable.”
      (Yes still got the email Ms Townsend)
      Not once ever enforced.
      Non enforcement? Actions and evidence suggests that is also intentional, selective – dependent on influence or council need irrespective of standards reglations laws etc.

  2. Ian Leggatt says:

    There are currently two houses having major building works carried out at the top of Farley Road and adjacent to the blocked sewer. Perhaps one of those has had a careless contractors?

  3. derek thrower says:

    Just another day in the deregulated and anarchic world of non-existent building standards that is the Britain of today. Doubt that malicious dumping would be the cause of these problems, but the hiring of cheap unskilled labour washing off material without any knowledge of the potential damage they could cause. No excuse for the damage they have caused however and full compensation for the mayhem they have caused for everyone should be pursued.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Sorry Derek – experience shows that perfectly legal developments in Croydon and Landlord of such have no issues with pouring excess and washing off excess into drains by those developments of cement, plaster, adhesive pastes, mixes to coat insultated cladding etc.
      Even when brought to their attention they do nothing. The one company that did comment on what had been done and did not do it on their work was Thames Water.
      A team pumped concrete and then in the middle of the road by other residents cars got rid of the waste and clear all the tubing and excess into the gutter. Council contractor doing coring samples again right by residents cars sprayed that debris and cement all over the bodywork two days later. Council says speak to contractors.

      The only two areas that actually work for residents in a round about way is Parking enforcement and Pollution. Pollution is severely hampered now though.

  4. Lee Malyon says:

    I recall the last major works at this location (around August time) were indeed by FM Conway on behalf of Croydon Council, that work necessitated a full road closure at exactly the same location. Speaking to a resident this morning whilst walking my cycle past the closed carriageway area, she commented all these issues with the sewer system commenced soon after that work had finished, I wonder……………

    • Arno Rabinowitz says:

      Its a general comment really. Can anyone name any Croydon Council initiative which was welcomed by all parties, started on time, finished on time and has been a success ever since implementation?

      Nothing come to mind ?

      So the post work sewer problem was to be expected and welcomed. Welcomed? Yes, it maintains the Council’s proud record of continuity. As our French neighbours would say: Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose

  5. Peter Hodes says:

    This is just one aspect of a more general problem. Is there anything that works as it should ? I can’t order a pizza without getting the wrong toppings. I can’t post to a friend without it getting lost.

    When you take away consequences – in almost every aspect – you encourage the incompetent. I imagine there are many that won’t like to hear this – especially those that recognise there own part in it.

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