Cones. Bliming Cones Bliming Everywhere.
Currently we are caught in a pincer movement between 3 groups who are making travelling around a misery. Green lane works, the A3 Central Reservation and Horndean Village Centre have all been subject to road closures, speed limits, alternate traffic lights, and the endless exasperation of motorists.
A short while ago I contacted Southern Gas Networks about the disruption in Horndean and raised the following questions:
Q: The works are said to be urgent. What exactly is the issue here? – A: Yes, they are urgent to correct poor pressure in the pipes. (Speaking to the guys on the ground, the gas supply pressure increases on the 1st November each year for the winter demand, and the works need to be carried out by then. They are only urgent as they were not carried out earlier…)
Q: Why are the works not also being carried out at weekends to shorten the duration? 6 weekends = 12 days = 2 weeks faster. A: The workforce can not be forced to work weekends. The available weekend staff are allocated for emergencies. (Speaking to the guys on the ground,and at 2 other SGN sites, there is an overtime ban to save £157 Million this year. Form your own view)
Q: Could the works have been carried out with two gangs, not one? A: No, there is not enough space. They would get in each others way. (Much better to have several large areas coned off and not worked on at the same time…)
Q: Will there be further works after this 6 week period A: The works will finish on the 5th November. (Feedback from the businesses in Horndean is that they have been told that the works are likely to run 2 to 3 weeks late)
It is inevitable that the next 18 months will see progressive works to connect the new gales site to the road, and we need to ensure that HCC and our County Councillor look after Horndeans interests in making the utility companies operate considerately in our community. County Council elections are early next year, please use this vote wisely.
In the meantime SGN do apologise for the works and inconvenience caused. I have advised them that if there was a sense that they were being quickly and efficiently carried out, then there would be nothing to apologise for.
In the meantime this is being taken up with Hampshire County Council who give permission for the road works to take place to make sure they carefully consider the Gales Site services works.