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Thames Water called on to undertake urgent review of response times as Bexley 'still faces flood risk'

PUBLISHED: 15:33 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 01 February 2017

Thames Water's response times have been criticised

Thames Water's response times have been criticised

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The company says it is already reviewing its network and extensive upgrades are underway

Thames Water has been called on to conduct an urgent review of its response times after it was revealed that Bexley residents remain at risk from further flooding caused by burst pipes.

Labour’s Londonwide Assembly Member Fiona Twycross called on the company to take action after bosses admitted their response to the floods before Christmas was “not adequate” and said their maintenance system is “not good enough”.

Speaking at the London Assembly Environment Committee at City Hall on January 19, they also confirmed their current monitoring techniques did not recognise any of the recently burst water mains as being in need of repair.

Residents and business in Bexley were left without water after a pipe burst under the High Street on Monday, January 16, and Thames Water’s reaction time was heavily criticised.

Ms Twycross said: “It is completely unacceptable that Thames Water have no idea which of their pipes are most at risk of bursting in the future, and if any of those pipes are in Bexley.

“The maintenance and risk assessment system is clearly inadequate and while I welcome their review into this, for those forced out of their homes at Christmas it will seem too little too late.”

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “A team of independent experts are fully investigating all the recent bursts to recommend how we can improve our pipe monitoring techniques and response times.

“Getting access to these pipes, many over 100 years old and running under incredibly busy roads, adds to the problem, but we’re exploring all options as a top priority to improve service to our customers and reduce the risk of further disruption.”

The company pointed out it already invests heavily in the network and more than 2,745km of Victorian water pipes have been replaced in the past 11 years.

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