West Park Road, Copthorne mains replacement

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We’re investing in an important water mains renewal project along West Park Road in Copthorne to secure safe and reliable drinking water supplies for homes and businesses.

The current water mains, which date back to the 1930’s, have now reached the end of their operational life. We are also taking this opportunity to upsize the existing main from 6” to 8” to accommodate the re-development of Haskins Garden Centre Snowhill.

The project will involve laying approximately 3.7km of new main along West Park Road between the junctions of the B2037 and the A22. Our Keeping your water flowing booklet explains the four stages needed to lay a water main and answers some key questions you may have.

We’re investing in an important water mains renewal project along West Park Road in Copthorne to secure safe and reliable drinking water supplies for homes and businesses.

The current water mains, which date back to the 1930’s, have now reached the end of their operational life. We are also taking this opportunity to upsize the existing main from 6” to 8” to accommodate the re-development of Haskins Garden Centre Snowhill.

The project will involve laying approximately 3.7km of new main along West Park Road between the junctions of the B2037 and the A22. Our Keeping your water flowing booklet explains the four stages needed to lay a water main and answers some key questions you may have.

Please post any questions you might have about the scheme of works and we will respond as soon as we can. 

Your questions

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    Meter for meter this pipe is taking longer than the channel tunnel. I know as a monopoly being efficient or aiming for engineering excellence isn't on your agenda, but please take some pride in your work. Laying a water main is significantly easier than the creation of the channel tunnel and yet for sume reason SESWater needs to take a year leading to congestion, increase pollution, and a huge waste of timer. There are no excusing! I would like SESWater to revisit the plan and reduce the total time taken, I can see no reason that the project should take longer than one month. I know the SESWater will not even attempt this just as it is an absolute certainly that the company will not complete this project on time they have given themselves. I would like assurances the board of directors will resign when the project is late, but I know it will not happen. SESWater is an embarrassment.

    Al asked 13 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your message and sorry to hear you are unhappy about the length of time these works are taking. Please rest assured our teams are working as quickly as possible to complete the works, however we always prioritise the health and safety of our workers and other road users.

    A few points to highlight:

    • Main laying takes longer if we are not allowed a full road closure, and when we try to minimise impact as much as possible by using traffic lights instead
    • Ground conditions found on site are more complex than originally expected so we can’t use faster drilling methods that we would use elsewhere
    • COVID-19 restrictions mean we need to ensure extra measures to work safely
    • A water main is not only laying it. There are other processes such as pressure testing, chlorinating to make it safe, connections and transferring the properties one by one (more than 90 in this Project) to the newly laid main that take a good amount of time
    • We always want to avoid disruption if we can. However, these essential works are being done to improve the quality of the water to our customers, and also to avoid further disruption to the area. The old main was beyond its operational life and lately there have been a high number of bursts causing many issues. We are impacting the road now so the main and the supply is sound and safe for a good number of years afterwards.


    We thank you for your patience while these works take place and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

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    We are on newcapel rd, just over the round about from west pk rd. We have a constant humming/churning/ vibrabiting that is more noticeable through the night since work commenced. Could you please explain???? A very tired resident 😴

    Jo asked 18 days ago

    Hi Jo, thank you for your message and sorry to hear your sleep is being impacted. We are not working during the night on this project and are currently about 300m away from Newchapel Road. So it is unlikely the noise will be coming from our works. There are other works taking place in the vicinity as Surrey Highways is currently repairing potholes in the road, so the noise could be coming from this.

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    Yesterday I noticed the road was closed, before the 1 March date you have stated as when it will be closed from. Can you please update us on the road closure plans.

    Al asked 19 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your message. I have double checked with the team working on West Park Road who say the road has been closed by Surrey Highways for pot hole repairs. It should be re-opened very soon. Sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.

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    I live at the roundabout on the junction of Eastbourne Road and West Park Road. To travel to Crawley and home, will I have to take the pink route, or is there any way residents can get through without the inevitable traffic hold ups at Felbridge or Brindley Heath. Thankyou

    Anne asked 6 months ago

    Hi Anne,

    Apologies for the confusion. The majority of the works will be carried out under sections of temporary traffic lights, so residents will be still be able to use West Park Road as usual. 

    We will be closing the A22 end during the easter holidays 2021 and the Snow Hill end during the summer holidays 2021. We will likely need to close the A22 end of West Park Road during the summer holidays as well, but this will only happen once we have re-opened the other end of West Park Road. The Road Closure and Diversion plan from the website will only apply for these above mentioned timeframes. 

    This has been planned to minimise disruption to daily commutes. We will advertise, nearer the time, exactly when the roads will be closed via website updates and with Advance Warning Signs on the affected roads, two weeks prior implementing these closures.

    Best wishes,

    SES Water

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    Your letter to homes in the area states that works will be completed in December 2021 at the earliest. This equates to 11.6 metres per day; why are the works taking so long to complete given the absence of rock or other complicated ground conditions?

    Peter Cook asked 7 months ago

    Hello Peter,

    Many thanks for your question. The rate of mains laying at 11.6 metres a day or 58 metres a week is our forecast worst case scenario and assumes that we will have to open cut trench the entire length of the mains replacement. We are however planning on laying an average of 100m a week.

    We have now conducted trial holes and surveyed ground conditions which shows that we should be able to directionally drill the main which will reduce the time our works will take - there is more information about this technique in the 'keeping your water flowing' booklet. 

    The duration of works is not just for the laying of the main from one end of west park road to the other. It will include an allowance for testing of the new main, service transfers and connections to the existing network.  

    The other aspects that we need to consider in the proposed timings are the number of properties that we will need to disconnect and then connect to the new main and any other events that may disrupt our work.

    We hope this explanation provides more information and answers your question.

    Best wishes,

    SES Water

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    Hi, we live on the A22 right on the pink diversion. The traffic is bad enough normally and living with this diversion for over a year is likely to be intolerable. We are very concerned with the inevitable traffic jams on this section of the A22 and in particular the traffic lights at Felbridge. Can you confirm if the traffic lights will be altered to speed up the flow of traffic turning right heading towards Crawley because this junction is already a nightmare . We just do not see how you are going to prevent major queues in all directions. It is so unfair on all the residents who live within 2 miles of Westpark Road .

    Chris WIllis asked 7 months ago

    Hi Chris, thank you for your query. 

    The road closures will only be for a short period and the diversion routes will only be in use while the closures are in place, However, we fully understand your concerns around this causing additional traffic to build up on the surrounding roads. We will therefore be monitoring to ensure there is an even traffic flow as much as possible. 

    Local councils also monitor the traffic and if required would adjust traffic light timings accordingly. Traffic regulation is sensitive and adjusting traffic light timings to benefit one road may cause undue congestion on other routes, but this is something we can look at if required.

    When road closures are planned we aim to keep diversion routes in as close proximity to the works as possible in order to reduce unnecessary travel for motorists, Unfortunately as a result of this surrounding roads/residents can be impacted, therefore constructive feedback from residents is always appreciated and taken on board.

    Best regards,

    SES Water