FAQs Thames Water Trunk Main Replacement - Norwood Road
1. Why is Thames Water digging up Norwood Road to lay a new water main?
The age of the large diameter trunk water main in Norwood Road means it is
vulnerable to leaks and potentially a burst.
2. Why are the roadworks taking 13 months?
To keep the disruption as short and as predictable as possible, Thames Water is
laying a new water main while keeping the old one in use. The new pipe will be 21
inches in diameter which is very large. The trench needed to lay it in needs to be
wide and deep. The construction works to support the sides of this trench and to
divert or support the other pipes and cables in the road are significant. To reduce the
impact on the important Christmas trading period, Thames Water has agreed to leave
site at the end of November and not return until January. To further reduce the time
taken to lay the pipe, Lambeth Council has agreed that Thames Water can lay the
pipe in two locations simultaneously, with the trenches (and temporary traffic lights)
approximately a quarter of a mile apart. Work will be carried out seven days a week.
3. To reduce disruption, why can’t Thames Water dig a tunnel rather than a trench
to lay their new main?
The combination of the pipe’s large diameter and its relative shallowness rules out
4. What are the estimates for the length and duration of traffic queues?
Being an “A” road, much of the traffic on Norwood Road is through-traffic. This
means that a significant number of drivers will take another route rather than
experience delays in Norwood Road. However, we cannot estimate how many
drivers will do this, so we cannot be sure what the delays will be for those who will
still be driving along Norwood Road. In their central control room, TfL will monitor the
traffic flows and adjust the timings of both temporary and permanent traffic signals to
keep queues as short as possible.
5. What precautions are being taken to avoid adjacent and nearby residential
roads becoming clogged up with drivers avoiding the town centre? Can a
temporary one-way system be created to deter this?
Variable message signs will be deployed in advance to encourage through traffic and
goods vehicles to use alternative routes such as Croxted Road and Streatham High
Road. Some drivers will inevitably use residential roads to avoid the roadworks, but
making these roads (eg Lakeview Road, Dassett Road, Chapel Road, Cheviot Road,
Thornlaw Road, St Julian's Farm Road and Wolfington Road) one way to either deter
or to accommodate this is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Nonetheless,
temporary traffic management measures will be introduced if severe congestion in
side roads becomes routine.
6. Have the emergency services any concerns about the delays from these
London Fire, ambulance and Metropolitan police have all been closely involved in
planning these works. Each are putting their own measures in place to ensure that
their dispatch centres and drivers are aware of how to minimise any effect on
7. Can Sat Nav devices be made to route through-traffic from using Norwood Rd?
In the UK, this is not something that councils have the power to influence. However,
because SatNav increasingly uses “live” traffic data when planning a route, it will
direct through traffic to take alternative routes if there are delays on Norwood Road.
8. Will the frequency of key north-south bus routes such as the 417 and 3 be
increased during the works?
No. Whilst adding more buses would slightly reduce passengers’ average waiting
time, having more buses on Norwood Road would worsen traffic delays so average
journey times would be no quicker.
9. To reduce delays to users of public transport why not close Norwood Road to
all traffic except buses, taxis & cycles whilst works are ongoing?
When trialed at a similar location elsewhere in London, too many drivers decided to
use parallel residential streets rather than follow the signed diversion. The effect on
those residents’ quality of life was felt to be disproportionate to the benefits of more
reliable bus journeys.
10. How long are buses are likely to be delayed and is there is any benefit in
diverting any of the routes (eg along Leigham Court Road and back around to
Tulse Hill by the south circular)?
From the outset, maintaining a reliable bus service while the roadworks are taking
place has been a key requirement. Whilst London Buses are planning for delays, this
a contingency, not an expectation.
Because of the impact on people who rely on buses to get about, bus routes are only
diverted as a last resort. All routes (except first 315 and then, later this year 322) will
continue to operate their normal route but where bus stops fall within the work areas
they will be closed. The project team, which includes London Buses, consider that
bus stops on Norwood Road are sufficiently close to each other as not to require a
temporary bus stop when one needs to be temporarily closed. They will put up
signs to direct pedestrians to the next nearest stop. Because even temporary bus
stops require an 18-metre no-stopping bus “cage”, not providing them will helps
delivery vehicles finding space to stop and load on Norwood Road
11. Will on-street or off-street (i.e. Waylett Place) parking charges or the permit
parking be suspended?
No. Keeping parking restrictions in place means that there is more likely to be spaces
available for people visiting West Norwood during the day.
12. What will happen to the 315 bus when York Hill is closed at its junction with
Further to our drop-in meetings, we have looked closely at our programme and construction
sequence and after working closely with both the design and construction team we have
managed to provide sufficient room to enable both the 315 bus service and vehicles to access
York hill from Norwood Road. This will enable residents to return up the hill. To enable residents
to use the bus service to gain access to Norwood Road shopping area, the 315 bus service running up York Hill can be used to deliver residents onto Leigham Court Road bus stops where
the 315 can be caught to deliver residents onto Norwood Road.
13. What will happen to the 322 bus when Robson Road is closed at its junction
with Norwood Road from October?
London Buses will issue details nearer the time
14. How will parking and loading on Norwood Road be affected?
We are not proposing to make any changes to the yellow lines or parking and loading
bays on Norwood Road. However, if we find that drivers pull-up, load, or park where
it causes an obstruction then we will need to reconsider this.
15. How will access to Lansdowne Hill be affected after October?
Lansdowne Hill will need to be closed at its junction with Norwood Road for a period
after mid-October. While the junction is closed, the only vehicular route to the lower
part of Lansdowne Hill (eg deliveries to Sainsbury’s and Floral Hall) will be over the
railway bridge that is subject to a 3-tonne weight limit. The council is working with
Thames Water to devise a traffic management plan to resolve this issue.
16. Will there be any changes to parking restrictions in the side roads that are
being closed-off (eg Lansdowne Hill, York Hill)?
If drivers park considerately we should not need to introduce additional parking
controls on side roads. Indeed, as soon as traffic patterns have settled down in June
we expect to temporarily relax some yellow-line waiting restrictions on those side
roads that are temporarily closed.
17. There will two sets of temporary traffic lights; will traffic definitely clear the
area between them before more traffic enters from behind?
Although this is a risk whenever we have two sets of temporary traffic signals
relatively close, we believe that this is outweighed by how much the construction
period will be shortened by having two, rather than one, sets of roadworks. Using the
GPS units on TfL’s buses we will quickly be able to detect any unusually severe
congestion and remotely adjust the green times for the temporary and permanent
18. Why cannot York Hill and Lancaster Avenue be reopened as soon as the new
pipe has been laid across the junction?
We cannot reopen both roads because to do so without traffic lights poses an
unacceptable risk to road safety. We will not be able to switch the traffic lights at this
junction back on until Thames Water have no temporary traffic lights nearby.
However, once traffic patterns have become established and Thames Water have
completed their works at this junction, we will look again whether we could reopen
York Hill as a give-way junction so that bus 315 can revert to its route.
19. What route will lorries too tall for Thurlow Park Rd Rail Bridge take when
Lancaster Avenue is closed at its junction with Norwood Road?
A new westbound diversion route for HGV`s avoiding the Thurlow Park Road bridge
will be signed at Horniman’s Museum. New signs will direct them north via Lordship
Lane to Denmark Hill, then south to Herne Hill.
20. Each business needs to know how the works will affect their ability to
receive deliveries and enable customer collections.
Prior to each phase of the works, Thames Water will be visiting every nearby
business to establish what they need; they will then prepare a servicing plan with
maps that will cover the duration of that phase so all businesses know where and
when vehicles can pull up nearby.
21. The works will impact on journey times of many students including those
heading for GCSE and A level exams.
Thames Water are writing to every school in the area to ensure that they are fully
aware of the potential impacts.
22. Will businesses be compensated for their loss in trade during the works?
At 11am on Tuesday 28 May the Station-to-Station BID and Thames Water will be
co-hosting a meeting at The Horns Tavern, 40 Knights Hill for any business
concerned at a potential loss of trade. After that date, any business should contact
Thames Water if they feel that their trade is being reduced by the works. Thames
Water will consider the claim (which can include interim payments) as set out in the
1991 Water Industry Act.
23. Will Thames Water compensate the traveling public for the extra journey time
and/or travel distance?
There is no legislation requiring Thames Water to consider claims relating to this type
24. Will the pressure in the new water main cause higher pressure in residents'
homes or bursts more likely elsewhere?
The new water main will not affect water pressure in other pipes. While the trunk
main is being replaced, Thames Water will continue their ongoing maintenance
program of works to address leaks and carry out repairs.
25. How will street cleaning and refuse collections be affected?
Veolia will carry out street sweeping at quieter times and are reviewing the routes
taken by their refuse collection vehicles to try to avoid them picking up in Norwood
Road when traffic flows are high. If this proves unsuccessful, Thames Water will
collect refuse and carry it to a location within their site where Veolia can collect it
without impeding traffic on Norwood Road.
26. How will the works affect Norwood Feast on the first Sunday of each month?
Thames Water has committed to work with Norwood Feast to make sure all the
markets can continue to operate throughout the roadworks. Thames Water will be
working on Sundays but will keep construction noise to a minimum.
27. How will the new pavements be protected from damage for the duration of the
The new pipe will only be laid in the carriageway so the new paving should not be
damaged. However, a full detailed survey is being carried out before works start and
Thames Water will repair anything they damage before they start work on the next
phase of works.
28. The new trench will leave an ugly scar down the middle of the road
The carriageway in Norwood Road was due to be resurfaced last year but Thames
Water alerted the council to their planned pipe-laying in time to delay the works. The
road will now be resurfaced in summer 2020.
29. Who to contact to discuss anything related to the works?
Thames Water are the works promoter and will generally offer the quickest and most
reliable method of communication. There will be information info boards on site