Two major pipeline projects are giving grief to local drivers
Drivers in and around South Wimbledon are likely to face traffic delays until December with major gas main works taking place in the area.
Temporary four-way traffic lights installed at the key South Wimbledon junction of Merton High Street and Kingston Road are already causing drivers to sit queuing for half an hour or more instead of the usual few minutes.
Further down the Kingston Road towards the A3, there are also knock-on delays caused by other long-standing gas main work in Raynes Park.
Southern Gas Network (SGN) says it’s spending £418,000 on replacing the old gas mains at the South Wimbledon junction with a new plastic pipe to ensure a “continued safe and reliable gas supply to the local area”.
The work, which reduces the two lane approaches to the junction to single lanes, is due to continue until the end of October. Delays are expected to get worse when the schools return from holidays.
SGN added in a statement: “To ensure everyone’s safety and to minimise disruption, we need to install temporary four-way traffic lights while we work at this junction. We will also set up temporary pedestrian crossings at the junction.
“Parking will be restricted around our work area to allow traffic to flow safely past our site.
“We understand that people can get frustrated by roadworks. However, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. This means that when the work is complete, Merton residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for years to come.”
Similar SGN work on Grand Drive in Raynes Park, which started on July 23, is set to continue into December. The busy road is one-way in the southbound direction for the duration of the works.
Full details of the £973,000 project to install a new plastic pipe are:
Phase one – Grand Drive, between Church Walk and Bushey Road
Two teams will work in Grand Drive from its junction with Church Walk towards Bushey Road. As this phase progresses, one team will move to begin work on phase two.
Phase two – Grand Drive, between Blenheim Road and Church Walk
One team will begin working in Grand Drive at its junction with Blenheim Road and work towards the junction with Church Walk. Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. However, as work progresses during this phase, SGN hopes to be able to re-open some small sections of Grand Drive for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow a signed diversion.
Phase three – Grand Drive, between Heath Drive and Westway
Both teams will be working in conjunction on Grand Drive, starting at its junction with Heath Drive and heading south towards its junction with Westway.
Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. Some small sections of Grand Drive may now be open for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. However, Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow a signed diversion.
August 2, 2018