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Burst pipe fury after traders face setback

PUBLISHED: 11:21 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:49 24 August 2010

YET another burst pipe in north west London has left a trail of crippled businesses in its wake, as shops were left without water for more than an hour. The mains in West End Lane, outside West Hampstead Tube station burst on Monday evening, and was not

YET another burst pipe in north west London has left a trail of crippled businesses in its wake, as shops were left without water for more than an hour.

The mains in West End Lane, outside West Hampstead Tube station burst on Monday evening, and was not brought under control until midday on Tuesday.

Water was seen gushing down the road, and a major section of West End Lane, was closed while repairs were carried out.

The burst follows a series of major leaks in the area, including one in Kilburn High Road, in October that was likened to a 'Tsunami' by one shop owner.

Homes and businesses were also flooded near Shirland Road, Maida Vale, during the summer because the drainage system could not cope with heavy rainfall.

Raj Kumar, manager of West 9 Food and Wine in West End Lane, has been hit hard by this latest incident:

He said: "Every day this goes on we lose £1,000. I'm more upset than angry, but their work affects our business. And it's going to go on for about three to four days."

Kathy Gaul, who works at the Bridge Café is also annoyed at the loss of business.

She said: "There were six customers that walked out this morning because we couldn't even make them a cup of tea.

"The most annoying thing was that they could have popped in quickly to say they were going to turn the water off for an hour, and we could have filled up basins to wash the dishes with. But they didn't even do that."

Ananth Rahman, manager of Caspian Travel Ltd said that major works are not new to the area.

He said: "This is nothing. Three years ago they shut this road for six months to strengthen the bridge. They said it would take a couple of months, but it went on for ages.

"I am angry but there is nothing that we can do. I think the workmen don't know what's going on under that road. Cables here, a couple of water pipes there, and gas and electricity pipes crammed up together. It's a mess."

A spokesman for Thames Water said: "Our engineers worked overnight to repair a 7in water main which burst under West End Lane.

"We're sorry for the disruption to road-users, residents and local businesses."

Work in the road was expected to finish last on December 17.


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