Councillor secures action from Thames Water on Crouch Hill

14 Mar 2024
water main

Thames Water have agreed to undertake investigative work on Crouch Hill in the coming weeks, to look at persistent issues which have led to 118 days of streetworks and the road being closed for 88 days since 2015. Thames are hoping the investigations will allow them to identify if the regular recurrence of leaks in the area could be down to air in the mains pipes - an issue that could be reduced through the installation of a relief valve. 

The commitment by Thames was made after Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison secured a meeting with Thames Water’s Head of London Planning, Simon Moore. The Crouch End Lib Dem councillor brought along Lewis Freeman, the Chair of the Crouch End Traders Association, as well as Haringey Council officers to the meeting with the water utilities company; at which Thames also agreed that subject to further analysis, Crouch Hill could be considered for their 2026-30 major works programme, which could result in the full replacement of the pipe network.

The most recent problems occurred at the end of January: a leak outside the former NatWest bank escalated to become a “full-scale mains failure”. Following this, traders from Crouch End wrote to Thames asking for a meeting, but were turned down. However, after submitting a letter to the Chief Exec of Thames, Chris Weston, backed by the petition signatures of 198 local residents, Cllr Cawley-Harrison secured a meeting.

Typically, incidents along Crouch Hill result in Thames Water engineers needing to be called out, the road being closed and huge disruption being caused to private residents and public transport (the W7 bus which uses the road has the highest number of passengers per km travelled in London) - 16 times in the past 8 years. Permanent solutions are not found, instead the problem is patched up with a temporary fix.

Commenting, Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison (LD-Crouch End), said:

Fixing this chronic failing will be good for both local people and for Thames Water itself. It is not fair for traders and residents to be constantly inconvenienced by Thames’ failing. Though I of course wish that the timescales for a fix were much shorter, I am pleased to have secured a first tentative commitment from Thames to look at this issue long term, and I made clear to Thames that any further works they carry out in the short term must be urgently prioritised for completion as quickly as possible, and communication back to the community much improved.”


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