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A249 Diversion

£640,000 Bill for Burst Water Main

The repair bill for the burst water main which closed the A249 for 25 days and brought chaos and misery to road users, is at least £640,000.

“The most challenging water event we’ve dealt with for 40 years.”

Southern Water

BRFM reported last month that damage cause by the water pipe, which is located around 15 metres under the carriageway, subjected drivers to long delays and diversions after the Sheppey-bound carriageway shut on January 11.

A Southern Water spokesman said: “The burst main under the A249 was the most challenging water event we’ve dealt with for 40 years.”

The northbound carriageway was closed between the A2 and the Bobbing junction for nearly a month.

Road Closed

A team of specialist engineers were drafted in to report back on the extent of the damage.

Donation to be made to Age UK Sheppey and The Freedom Centre

It wasn’t just road users who suffered, 10,000 properties on Sheppey were left without water, some for more than 48 hours, forcing Southern Water to hand out free bottles.

Water Supply

Southern Water will also have to foot the bill for repairs carried out to the carriageway by Highways England and now as a good-will gesture, Southern Water have asked Gordon Henderson MP, to nominate a local charity to receive a donation.  Henderson has suggested a donation be made to Age UK Sheppey and The Freedom Centre.

Explaining his choice, the Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP said: “I will be suggesting that a donation is made to Age UK (Sheppey) and The Freedom Centre.

My logic for choosing these two Island organisations is that the people who were most disadvantaged by the lack of water tended to be the elderly and the disabled who were unable to get to a water distribution point.

In addition, those affected by the water problem, in the main, lived either in Minster or at the east end of the Island. Both Age UK (Sheppey) and The Freedom Centre help people in those areas.”

About Duncan Martin

Duncan is the programme-coordinator at BRFM, in charge of the schedules. He has worked at the station since November 2014. You'll occasionally hear him on air too, but rarely before 9am as he's not a morning person! If you want to find out more information about our programmes, you can email Duncan at [email protected]