Monday, 17 June 2013

Wrote to West Berks Council Head of Highways re temporary reinstatement of utility works in Theale High Street

Dear Mark,
over the past several months I have noticed many utility works in Theale High Street have been “made good” using tarmac. These stick out like a sore thumb as the street is block paved and the footways are paved with paving slabs. Having observed these for several months, I reported them to WBC Customer Services. I have just received the following in updates to two of the cases I raised:
10/06/13 Met TWU and their Contractors on site and walked the length of Theale High Street, identified all leaks and reinstatements. Most Thames Water excavations are only reinstated to an interim standard (temp bitmac) on the first visit. The New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991 (NRSWA 1991) allows reinstatements to be kept at interim for up to 26 weeks. All the works on Theale High Street are on our Streetworks Register and the works will be inspected as the notices and works progress.
This gives rise to two questions:
  1. Why are works in block and slab paving reinstated using “bitmac”? This is very ugly and it should be just as easy for the contractor to replace the original block paviours or slabs.
  2. What inspection regime do we have to ensure that permanent re-instatement is carried out as quickly as possible?
The number of utility excavations, together with the six-month period allowed for permanent re-instatement, means that Theale High Street is always going to look like a patchwork quilt. I can’t believe that WBC would allow such a situation in places such as Northbrook Street or Newbury Market Place.

Please note that Thames Water have recently had to repair about half a dozen water meters in the High Street.

Kind Regards,
Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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