Major works on faulty Hailsham water pipe suspended

The much-needed works on the water pipe under Diplocks Way are now being suspended.
The much-needed works on the water pipe under Diplocks Way are now being suspended.

Major works to replace a water main in Diplocks Way, Hailsham have been suspended.

South East Water has agreed with East Sussex County Council’s Highways to postpone the scheme, re-open the road and remove equipment.

The firm began a nine month project last Monday to replace a pipe which has burst 13 times in two years, twice since October 1.

Community Facebook posts say South East Water has not started work on site after six days’ road closure and accuse the firm of ‘repeatedly ignoring Highways’ instructions to improve traffic management which has inconvenienced residents and businesses.’

A company spokesman said mains replacement was stopped by the council after concerns were raised about traffic management and road safety.

Delivery manager Chris Love apologised for stopping work saying: “It’s essential this faulty pipe is replaced soon. But safety is both ours and East Sussex Highways’ top priority and we will work with Highways to find the best way to carry out this work. We apologise to motorists who experienced problems but hope they understand we took swift action once we were made aware of the issues.”

Highways assurance manager Ashley McFaite said: “This project was a long time in planning as we knew motorists and businesses would face significant disruption for a long period of time.

“We always work with utility companies to ensure work goes ahead with minimal disruption and to a high standard.

“But safety of motorists is paramount. Where issues cannot be addressed we will not hesitate to take action.”