Long-term roadworks as local district heating network expands

Year-long disruption in Ponders End High Street and Hertford Road in Edmonton will enable Energetik to lay new pipes, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Sign warning motorists
Sign warning motorists

Residents of Ponders End and Edmonton are facing a year of disruption as council-owned energy company Energetik carries out major works in the area.

A series of carriageway closures are planned in Hertford Road and Ponders End High Street as the company installs a network of pipes that will supply heat produced by the Edmonton incinerator to homes and businesses across the borough.

The works are set to take place between 17th July 2023 and 27th June 2024. Energetik has pledged to minimise disruption, deliver the works in short stretches and maintain two-way traffic circulation where possible.

Philip Ridley, from Enfield Transport User Group, said the council could have scheduled the works better to minimise disruption. January this year marked the end of a lengthy project to install cycle lanes along Ponders End High Street – part of the Cycle Enfield scheme.

He said: “In recent times, Ponders End [High Street] has been shut for long periods of time, and it would have been beneficial to the community had they co-ordinated the cycle works with the Energetik works to minimise disruption. The cycle works and Energetik are [both] Enfield Council projects.”

Philip also said the council had failed to share information about bus diversion routes and other key transport details in advance. He said: “If we have a year of disruption, we should know in advance when things are being shut down, when buses are being diverted. They [the council] should know – why are they not telling us?

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“There should be a website that sets out that ‘you will not be able to park here, and bus diversions will be this’. It seems a bit ad hoc.”

Philip said the council should also have carried out a consultation so that business owners facing disruption could give feedback that might enable the works to be better coordinated.

A council spokesperson said the pipe network being installed “will serve the community with low-carbon heat and hot water for the next 80 years, enabling the decarbonisation of tens of thousands of connected homes and businesses”.

An Energetik spokesperson said the company was working to minimise disruption.

They added: “The works are being delivered in short 50m to 100m sections, maintaining two-way traffic circulation wherever possible and access for all local residents. The work areas will be segregated by fencing to ensure a safe working area for the workforce and to provide a safe route for the public at all times.

“There will unfortunately be areas where the use of temporary traffic signals is unavoidable. We are working hard to minimise these and for them to take place at the least disruptive times of the year such as school holidays when traffic volumes are reduced.”

The spokesperson said that it was not possible for the works to coincide with the recent “high street, cycling and pedestrian enhancements”. They added that letters had been sent to properties “along the length of the streets affected and into adjoining streets”, while advance warning notices were put up to inform people passing through the area.

According to the spokesperson, Energetik plans to update its website this week to provide further detail of the works.

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