Issued by South East Water
South East Water work on a water mains replacement scheme has been stopped by East Sussex County Council after concerns were raised about traffic management and road safety.
The company began a nine month project last Monday to replace a pipe in Diplocks Way, Hailsham, which has burst 13 times in two years – twice since 1 October.
But after it became clear there were problems, South East Water agreed with East Sussex Highways to postpone the scheme.
South East Water’s Delivery Manager Chris Love said: “We are sorry we have had to stop this work, because it’s absolutely essential this faulty pipe is replaced as soon as possible.
“However, safety is both ours and East Sussex Highways top priority and we will work with East Sussex Highways to find the best way to carry out this work.
“We apologise too, to those motorists who experienced problems, but hope they understand we took swift action once we were made aware of the issues.”
Ashley McFaite, network assurance manager for East Sussex Highways said: “This project was a long time in the planning due to the fact that motorists and businesses would have faced significant disruption for such a long period of time.
“We will always work with utility companies, and their contractors, to ensure work is carried out with minimal disruption and to a high standard. But the safety of motorists is paramount, and where issues cannot be addressed we will not hesitate to take action.”
Chris Love continued: “The pipe burst again just last week, the second time this month. When it bursts, it causes damage and disruption and has the potential to leave customers without water for long periods. This is obviously unacceptable so we are very keen to get the work under way as soon as we can.
“We will work in partnership with East Sussex Highways to make sure when this happens it is safe, clearly signed and we continue to keep the local businesses and community updated.”