Lewisham’s leading scrutiny councillor and Labour Mayoral Candidate Councillor Alan Hall has pledged early action to press Thames Water to speed up its water mains replacement programme.

“If selected and elected, one of my first actions will be to tirelessly press for a speeding up of the replacement of London water pipes that can be up to 150 years old” said Cllr Alan Hall.


The main recommendations of Cllr Alan Hall’s Committee are:

  • Make the Fire Brigade the statutory Emergency Response Service for flooding
  • Thames Water to introduce a dedicated emergency response line for leaks
  • Thames Water to improve and join up their monitoring system for detecting likely leaks
  • Thames Water prioritize the replacement of Victorian pipes on major water mains
  • Thames Water develop and publish attendance and performance standards to major and minor incidents
  • Thames Water introduce a clear and consistent compensation policy for those affected

He continued: “The mains burst in November last year in Lee High Road in the centre of Lewisham was extremely serious. Lives were threatened as a tourist bus fell into the collapsed carriageway, 52 properties were flooded and customers in the surrounding area were without water or experienced low pressure for a short period.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

“This disruption to Lewisham residents everyday lives caused by the collapse of a mains pipe that was built so long ago that Queen Victoria  was still on the throne.

“It was laid before any of Lewisham’s residents had been born but it had been built to the exacting can-do standards that were emblematic of the works of Brunel and Bazalgette who built so much of London’s infrastructure.

“We need water pipes, not pipe dreams. We need to revive that spirit to get things done in London and Lewisham. Earlier this year I hosted a summit of 4 London boroughs to hold Thames Water to account. That scrutiny process will draw to a conclusion in the Autumn but we are already clear what we want”

Other London boroughs including Islington, Hackney and Lambeth and the GLA environment committee have already or are expected to make similar recommendations to those by Lewisham

Burst Water Main Lee High Road

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