Brixton Hill unlikely to fully reopen to traffic for two weeks after water main burst

A view of Brixton Hill, seen from the South Circular road in March 2023 (Google)
A view of Brixton Hill, seen from the South Circular road in March 2023 (Google)

Concerns have been raised over disruption caused by an ongoing closure on the A23, as it emerged that the road is unlikely to fully reopen for another two weeks.

The Brixton Hill section of the London-Brighton road has been closed to through traffic since Saturday, when a water main burst and flooded.

Water supplies were restored to local residents by Thames Water later that day, but damage to the road itself, including some of the nearby pipework, has meant repairs are ongoing.

All traffic, including at least eight bus routes, is being diverted to the east and west. Lambeth Council has meanwhile decided to temporarily suspend two nearby low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) until the main road has reopened.

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that Brixton Hill is unlikely to fully reopen for another two weeks, but said it is working to open one or two lanes of traffic as soon as possible.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the local Labour MP, said on social media on Monday: “The poor communication with local stakeholders from @thameswater is incredibly frustrating, as is the failure to provide a clear timeframe for repairs.

“Awaiting the update and apology they owe everyone affected by this.”

Marina Ahmad, the area’s Labour London Assembly member, has meanwhile written to both TfL commissioner Andy Lord and to Thames Water’s interim co-CEO, Alastair Cochran.

She told Mr Lord she has “serious concerns over how the redirection of traffic has been dealt with”, saying there are “no large flashing electronic signs as would be expected” and that there was “36 hours of no information being available” on TfL’s website when the closures began.

A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “We are sorry to customers across Brixton and Streatham who experienced low water pressure or no water on Saturday 16 September due to a burst water main on Brixton Hill.

“Our engineers isolated the burst and full water supply was returned to customers by Saturday afternoon. Our teams will be carrying out repairs to our pipework over the next week, during which time part of Brixton Hill will remain closed.

“We apologise for any disruption caused and would like to assure our customers that we are carrying out the repair as quickly and safely as possible.”

A TfL spokesman said: “We're sorry for the disruption caused by a burst Thames Water main on Brixton Hill.

“We're working closely with Thames Water to reduce the impact of the road closure while they urgently repair the water main.

“All road users in the area are advised to leave more time for journeys and to check our website for the latest travel information.”