A couple of months ago, we got excited because we saw Charlton station had gained a new water fountain. It was all part of a London-wide plan to provide more drinking water taps, and reduce the need for people to buy plastic bottles of water. There was a heatwave on, it sounded fantastic.
Then a few weeks after it opened, it was covered up again. And moved. It’s still covered up today. Our refillable bottles have remained unfilled.
We asked Thames Water what was going on. A spokesperson got back to us very quickly and told us: “At the moment the water coming from the fountain isn’t of the standard we’d expect so we can’t let anyone use it until it passes all the right tests.”
Thames Water emphasises there is no issue with water in the wider area – it’s just an issue that affects the fountain.
Hopefully the fountain will be back in service soon.
It’s taken nearly four months – but finally, Woodland Terrace has reopened after the Great Hole of Charlton opened up, almost swallowing a car.
Locals have had to put up with weeks of disruption – not least the loss of the 380 bus service – while engineers filled in the sinkhole and stabilised the road.
The bus is due to return from 5pm this evening (Friday), local resident Helen Jakeways tells us.
She’s full of praise for Thames Water’s field operations specialist Sharon Simmonds and regional network manager Carl Leadbeater for their work in keeping locals informed in the meantime.
“Despite the agonising length of time this has taken to resolve, they have been prompt, open and transparent in their dealings with residents,” Helen, who has been emailing residents with updates through the Charlton Parkside community hub, says.
“Every mail I have sent has been responded to quickly and action has been taken when there have been problems during the works. I have received regular updates on progress, and reasons for delays on top of the hard copy letters which have been distributed regularly to local properties.
“More recently Sharon went over and beyond what I could have asked of her to help us liaise with Greenwich Council officers over resident-requested changes to speed humps and yellow lines, neither of which were her responsibility other than to replace what had been in situ previously.
“It’s heartening that Thames Water were willing to engage with an informal resident network so readily and effectively.
“Also a shout out to Matthew Pennycook who has, I am sure, been working behind the scenes to ensure delays were minimised as far as possible and resident requests to amend road markings / humps were acted upon by the council.”
Helen’s also got warm words for Woolwich Riverside councillors John Fahy, Barbara Barwick and Jackie Smith for keeping tabs on the situation.
The 380’s return to normal (it is diverted through Blackheath this weekend because of the On Blackheath festival) will be welcomed by many locals, who have missed the direct link to Woolwich and Lewisham.
It also means the way is clear for three days of works in Victoria Way to replace speed humps, which were postponed last month after it was pointed out to Greenwich Council that this would mean the 380 would spend almost half of its route in diversion. No new date has been set for these works.