Wednesday 25th August: Updates from SES Water
1. Tonbridge Road & Camp Hill closure update
We've listened to the feedback from our customers and other road users over the past few weeks regarding our essential mains replacement works on the B2027 in Chiddingstone, Kent.
This morning our senior engineers visited the site again to assess the situation and have also spoken directly to a number of concerned local people at the same time. We are sorry for the ongoing disruption caused by these works and we are now reviewing the project to consider how we may reduce the impact on the local community, while maintaining safety and legal obligations in the highway. These proposals will be presented to Kent County Council for their approval.
Since starting the works on 13 August we have made good progress laying 200m of new main and are confident we will be able to re-open some of the road earlier than originally planned, as soon as it is safe to do so.
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience these essential works have caused.
Customer Service Operations
2. B2027, Chiddingstone road closure update
We have not under-estimated the concern from local people and businesses about the closure of the B2027 in Chiddingstone to allow us to safely replace the water main there. Over the last few days we have been at the site and spent many hours investigating alternative ways to still allow this essential work to continue, but to do so in a way that reduces the impact on the community.
We have made good progress so far, having laid over 200 metres of new pipes, but unfortunately it is not possible at the moment, due to the nature of the work needed in the road, to open one lane with traffic lights, which we recognise would be much less disruptive.
We are a local company with a long history in the Bough Beech area and always strive to be responsive and do what is right in providing our essential public service. Therefore, we have decided to now postpone these works and our teams are in the process of making the site safe with a view to re-opening the road completely by the end of this week, ahead of school terms starting in September.
We maintain over 3,400 km of water mains across our supply area and this does mean that pipes need replacing to ensure we can still maintain a reliable supply of high-quality water to our customers, both now and far into the future too. The main at Tonbridge Road still needs replacing and we will plan how we will do this in the future, in consultation with the local community and business owners.
We’re sorry about the disruption and confusion this work has caused but hope that today’s decision demonstrates that we have listened to people’s views and most importantly, have acted on them.
Head of Network
The B2027 Tonbridge Road
will be closed between Hampkins Hill Road and Chiddingstone Causeway for the
replacement of the water main. A diversion will be in place. This will have an
impact on school bus services from September but KCC has promised to provide a
minibus to take children from Chiddingstone Causeway to Penshurst to pick up
the 233 bus service.
KCC has said: “Arrangements for the minibus are now in hand but as a process of tendering is involved the operator will not be known until late August. However I can advise that, provisionally, the minibus should leave Chiddingstone Causeway at 7.40am and return from Penshurst Institute at 4.27pm, to connect with 233 buses to and from Tunbridge Wells that will stop in Penshurst High Street.
The temporary timetable for the 231 and 233 buses has been published by Metrobus which includes school holiday journeys that will run until the end of August (marked NSD) as well as the extra school day buses from 1st September (shaded blue and headed SDO).”
Metrobus have advertised their plans for the main buses 231 & 233 between Edenbridge and Tunbridge Wells. They introduced an emergency timetable from the start of the road closure on Tuesday 10th August.
- Route 231 will divert from Fircroft Way, Edenbridge via Hartfield Road, A264, Ashurst and Fordcombe Road to Penshurst where it will resume normal line of route. Buses will follow the same diversion in reverse back to Edenbridge. Route 231 will be unable to serve Swan Ridge, Four Elms, Bough Beech or Chiddingstone Causeway.
- Route 233 will operate as normal from Edenbridge to Bough Beech and will then be diverted via Chiddingstone Village and Smarts Hill to Penshurst and resume normal line of route to Tunbridge Wells. It will follow the same diversion in reverse back to Edenbridge. Route 233 will be unable to serve Chiddingstone Causeway.
Go-Coach has reported that there will be no change to the 237 bus service which will not be impacted by the road closure.
Details of the Closure
SES Water: Mains replacement project in your area regarding a mains replacement project taking place in Tonbridge Road and Camp Hill, Chiddingstone.
What does it involve? The project involves laying approximately 1.5km of new water main along Tonbridge Road and part of Camp Hill, starting from the junction of Hampkins Hill Road.
Why is this work necessary? The current water mains, which date back to 1974, have now reached the end of their operational life. The new water mains will provide secure, safe, and reliable drinking supplies for homes and businesses.
Traffic management Due to the location of the existing water main, and a number of other utilities already in the ground, we will need to work in the public highway. To keep residents, motorists and our workforce safe during these works, we will be carrying out phased closures of Tonbridge Road and Camp Hill. The first phase will involve the closure of Tonbridge Road, followed by the second phase, the closure of Camp Hill. We will maintain access for residents, deliveries and emergency vehicles. All traffic management arrangements and necessary diversions will be advertised on our website here and information boards will be visible in the affected areas prior to any closure being implemented. We will maintain access for residents, deliveries and emergency vehicles. Road closures are used when we are unable to provide the required legal distances around our works.
Timetable of work The Tonbridge Road closure will start on Tuesday 10 August 2021 and will last until October 2021. The closure of Camp Hill will then commence in October 2021 and be in place until February 2022. When possible, our delivery partner Clancy Docwra will be working 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays. However, these hours may vary depending on weather conditions, daylight and staff availability.
You will find a dedicated website for the Tonbridge Road and Camp Hill scheme at https://seswater.uk.engagementhq.com/tonbridgeroad where you can take part in a forum discussion, leave questions for our team and receive the latest updates.