Eastern Road Portsmouth: Road to close again for repairs to sewer pipe as Southern Water comes under fire

Southern Water has come under fire following the recent sewer accident which resulted in the southern section of Portsmouth’s Eastern Road being closed again at the weekend – for the third time in two months.

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As previously reported, one lane of Main Street – a busy road in and out of the city – was closed yesterday afternoon (January 3) while workers attempted to clear damage caused by a burst pipe. It follows two similar incidents in December 2023 – and the water utility has admitted that explosions have “occurred far too frequently” in recent months.

And now the water company has announced that the southbound carriageway from the roundabout to Anchorage Road will be closed again from Friday evening (January 5) until Tuesday while final repair work is carried out. A statement confirming the “two-lane closure” said: “The closure will take place from 8pm on Friday 5 January until the afternoon of Tuesday 9 January. This is due to a sewer burst on Wednesday morning, January 3rd, north of the bridge. Our teams are on site and tankers have been deployed to remove excess water and prevent flooding. Due to the traffic disruption this will cause, anyone traveling to Portsmouth is advised to plan their trip and allow extra time. For the latest traffic information, follow Portsmouth City Council’s @Portsmouthroads on X (formerly known as Twitter).

It added: “We are working with Portsmouth City Council to address the need for further emergency repairs along the main sewer with a long-term solution.”

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport at Portsmouth City Council.Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport at Portsmouth City Council.

City Council transport cabinet member Gerald Vernon-Jackson expressed real concern about the state of the area’s sewer, which has resulted in leaks and repairs over the past two months. He said: “I’m concerned that if three sections of this sewer are broken in a row, that means it’s a very big problem that needs a long-term solution. “It’s a really serious thing if Southern Water is “The sewage network cannot be maintained without such disruptions.”

He also recommended that people mitigate the disruption by planning ahead and avoiding the affected stretch of road if possible.

The latest incident was also met with comments on social media expressing dismay at the well-known predicament. One person said: “If Southern Water really regretted it and didn’t want this to happen, they would have invested in new infrastructure instead of paying huge dividends to their shareholders for years.”

Drone footage of traffic on Eastern Road during repair work in a similar incident last month.  Image: Marcin JedrysiakDrone footage of traffic on Eastern Road during repair work in a similar incident last month.  Image: Marcin JedrysiakDrone footage of traffic on Eastern Road during repair work in a similar incident last month. Image: Marcin Jedrysiak

Another added: “Sorry, that’s not enough, where is the compensation for the disruption? How much reduction in the bill will we see?” while another comment read: “Not again! We are tired of the same old problems with our dilapidated old infrastructure that cannot cope with overdevelopment in the area.”

The situation was described as “serious” and “disappointing” by Councilor Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE, the council’s cabinet member for transport. The councilor said: “I am really disappointed that another stretch of the same sewer appears to have had a leak. It is really disappointing that Southern Water seems to continue to have problems with this.

“It is a real inconvenience for residents. But the sewer needs to be repaired. Most people realize it has to be done and it’s better to do it on a weekend.”

Southern Water apologized for the explosion yesterday afternoon. A spokesman said: “We are aware that these explosions have occurred far too frequently over the last three months and we very much regret the impact this continues to have on people in the area and those living in Portsmouth.” and leave.”

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