Planned roadworks

Gully Cleaning 2019-2020

The Wimbledon Times of 7th December 2018 carried a Public Notice from the London Borough of Merton (LBM)  about gully cleaning across a wide area of the Borough including West Barnes and Raynes Park. This was due to start on 10 December and continue for up to 18 months. 

The Notice says that work will be carried out on a "rolling basis” with warning signs being posted 3 days before work is expected to take place and cones being put in place the day before. 

Under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 (as amended) the Council has a Statutory duty to publish these sorts of Notices. That they have done, but I question whether the way it is being done is either adequate or as useful and constructive as it could be . 

Gully cleaning is necessary not just to make the roads look cleaner but hopefully to ensure that rainwater is able to drain away and, if possible, prevent 'flash' flooding which is a potential problem in low lying parts of the Borough such as West Barnes. 

Clearly this type of work can only be completed in a meaningful way if most of the vehicles, normally parked in a road, are parked elsewhere on the day concerned . But is three days’ notice enough time to warn of what is about to happen? I doubt it. 

Come Spring and Summer many car owners (who cannot park 'off-road’) will be on holiday for a couple of weeks (without their cars!)  and  - under the existing system - will be totally unaware of what is about to happen. 

The Schedule to the Public Notice contains a long list of roads - at a guess 250 to 300 - in alphabetical order, but of course the roads will not be cleaned in that order. Surely it should be possible - without too much additional effort - for the Department concerned at Merton to publish, say each month, a list of the of the roads to be cleaned during the following 2 months with INDICATIVE DATES of when EACH road will be dealt with. 

I assume the Council MUST have this information on their files as part of their rolling work programme. Why not share it month by month with  those who are likely to be affected? 

Many of the roads listed are in the area covered by our Association. If the Council was willing to do so (and our Editor agreed) the Guide could carry an item giving a working guide to when roads were to be done .For example the April Guide would provide the indicative programme for the month of May and so on. It is hardly rocket science. Moreover, it might well help to ensure that more roads can be cleaned than I suspect is the case currently.

David Freeman, March 2019




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