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Highgate roadworks are 'hazardous'

PUBLISHED: 15:41 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 September 2010

Tan Parsons OUTRAGED residents are calling for action to make hazardous roadworks in Highgate safer. Jacksons Lane has been ripped up by contractors acting on behalf of Thames Water to repair a water main. The work has been branded extremely dangerous

Tan Parsons

OUTRAGED residents are calling for action to make "hazardous" roadworks in Highgate safer.

Jacksons Lane has been ripped up by contractors acting on behalf of Thames Water to repair a water main.

The work has been branded "extremely dangerous" by local people, as the pavement has not been properly blocked off to passers by. Next to the hole that has been dug there remains a narrow walkway which people are still using as a thoroughfare.

Fencing erected between the hole and the pavement has collapsed in several places and lumps of concrete litter the path, while there are no lights to illuminate the way at night.

Pond Square resident Andrew Williams said: "I genuinely feel it's very, very dangerous. In parts of the pavement the tarmac is barely an inch thick and could collapse at any moment if someone stepped on it."

"I think people want to see proper standards of work. If there's been a cock up then it should be a wake up call to the company doing it and they should sound all their bells and whistles and do everything they can to make it safe and tidy it up and not just leave it."

Mr Williams says that if Thames Water cannot fix the street and make it safe then residents should take the task upon themselves.

The repair works are being carried out on behalf of Thames Water by the contractor Enterprise, whose slogan is 'Maintaining the infrastructure of the UK'.

The narrow part of the road where the roadworks are taking place was branded a death trap by residents who called for it to be closed altogether in January 2007 after five car crashes happened there in three days.

The works are taking place directly outside the former home of Pirates of the Caribbean actor Jonathan Pryce, who moved from the street at the end of 2008.

In January 2007 when the wall of his house was damaged in a car crash, he told the Ham&High he was afraid to step outside his front door until the road was made safe and something needed to be done before someone was killed.

Pensioner Pauline Wearden, of Southwood Park, said she feels sorry for the people who have moved into the actor's old home: "Those people are just marooned while all this is going on, it's scary.

"I got stuck on the footpath the other day because there was no sign saying it was closed.

"It's very narrow and I'm not fat but I couldn't get past.

"They were working on getting this pavement fixed before Christmas but now it seems to have relapsed and nothing is happening."

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said the site is safe and regularly maintained by the contractors and that the delay was beyond their control. She added: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this work may have caused local people and thank them for their patience.

"Our contractors have been repairing a broken main at Jacksons Lane, which had been leaking under the ground for some time, causing damage underneath the highway.

"The leak to the pipe was repaired on January 12 but the damage to the highway is taking longer to repair than we had anticipated."

A Haringey Council spokesman admitted the local authority has a responsibility to stop pedestrians using the pavement: "The area has been closed off with signage and pedestrians should not be using it. The council is monitoring the position to ensure the site remains secure."

The work in Jacksons Lane is expected to last around another month.


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