Traffic flow to be affected until after Easter
The council’s transport spokesman is calling on gas company engineers to work flat out to complete a major project that will affect traffic flows throughout Wandsworth town centre until after Easter.
Engineers working for Southern Gas Networks are replacing a large gas main that runs from Garratt Lane across Wandsworth High Street and into Ram Street.
The works, which involve replacing an ageing 30 inch cast iron gas main with a modern plastic equivalent, are scheduled to last in total until April 27th.
The main impact on traffic flows will occur between January 3rd and February 16th when excavations will begin at the junction of Wandsworth High Street and Garratt Lane.
During this period, the high street will be reduced from four lanes down to two for traffic heading westbound.
At the same time, Garratt Lane will be reduced from two lanes down to one for traffic heading northbound while Ram Street will be closed in both directions to ease traffic flows.
While Ram Street is closed, buses heading northbound will be diverted via Wandsworth Plain and southbound traffic will be diverted via Fairfield Street and Wandsworth High Street.
If the works proceed as scheduled, Wandsworth High Street and Garratt Lane will both revert to normal after February 16th, but Ram Street will remain closed while the gas company's contractors continue laying the new main towards Shoreham Close and Barchard Street.
Cyclists wishing to use Barclays Cycle Superhighway 8 will need to dismount at the junction of Garratt Lane and Wandsworth High Street and use the pedestrian crossing to walk into Ram Street.
Cabinet member for strategic planning and transportation Cllr Russell King said: "These works will undoubtedly create a great deal of traffic congestion throughout Wandsworth town centre and the surrounding areas.
"Because of this, it is absolutely vital that the gas company puts sufficient resources into completing the job as quickly as possible so that traffic can get moving again as quickly as possible.
"As Wandsworth High Street is a red route, Transport for London is responsible for ensuring the works proceed as smoothly and as quickly as possible
"However we will also be keeping a very close eye on progress and if we feel that the gas company is not putting enough effort into getting the job finished on time, then we will insist on immediate action to get things back on track."
To ensure the works are completed as quickly as possible and have the least impact on local residents and businesses, the council and TfL have instructed the gas company to carry out their works seven days a week.
The hours of working are as follows:
Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton, said: "I have been chasing TfL Streets hard on this. Wandsworth Council have of course been on the case for some time, but I asked for the longest possible hours of work. Obviously 24 hours would be ideal, but I gather there was concern about disturbing residents living over Southside and so that way of reducing the traffic chaos fell away."
Small business owners whose trade is affected may be able to claim compensation for any loss of earnings they suffer while works are taking place. For more information visit SGN's website.
Residents or businesses with questions about the progress of the works or who are experiencing problems should contact SGN's contractors Morrison Utility Services or Southern Gas Networks in the first instance. Their numbers are 0844 375 9555 and 0845 070 1431 respectively
Because the works are taking place on a Transport for London road, TfL will be best placed to answerany further questions. They can be contacted on 0845 305 1234.
The council's highways team can be contacted on (020) 8871 6608.
December 15, 2011