A road where hundreds of buses are being diverted during works to Western Road is closed this morning while engineers investigate a water leak.
The Upper North Street resident who took this picture says this is the third leak in four weeks, and believes it is being caused by the 700 or so buses now using the road.
This is the second water leak to affect the road this week, and there has also been a gas leak.
However the council insists it has nothing to do with the extra heavy vehicles now using the roads, but is because Southern Water’s city centre infrastructure is very old and is experiencing joint failures in many locations.
The resident has also posted pictures showing water pooling down Dean Street by McDonalds into Western Road last night.
The road was closed this morning, with buses now diverted via Seven Dials to get from Waitrose to Churchill Square.
⚠️Due to a water leak on Upper North Street we are unable to operate along there so we will be using the following diversion Seven Dials and Dyke Road to get to Churchill Square.
Apologises for the delay this may cause to your journey ⚠️
— B&H Buses (@BrightonHoveBus) March 16, 2023
Southern Water engineers are currently on the scene. A spokesman said: “We’re very sorry for the disruption emergency repairs to a leak in Upper North Street, Brighton, has caused residents and commuters.
“The leak damaged the surface and we closed the road while repairs were carried out. During this time, customers in Upper North Street, Marlborough Street and Dean Street had their supply temporarily disrupted.
“We would like to thank customers for their patience during this time.”
A council spokesman said: “A council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Southern Water have developed a major leak on Upper North Street and have had to go in today to excavate. This involves closing the road.
“The leak has nothing to do with the current use of the road as a diversion from Western Road.
“It has been necessary to close Western Road to eastbound buses and taxis while we carry out improvement works. This is a temporary measure until the work is complete.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused while this work takes place and thank those affected for bearing with us.
“We appreciate residents’ concerns about rerouted traffic passing by their properties during the closure of Western Road. But unfortunately there isn’t a viable, alternative option that would keep the city’s bus network moving.
“To prevent additional heavier traffic using Montpelier Terrace and Upper North Street, we have withdrawn the previous Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) and introduced a new one.
“This stops heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from using the route, other than for access. Buses will still be permitted.
“We believe the number of HGVs using the street that would not already be permitted to do so for access, has been low. However, this change responds to concerns raised.
“The new measure came into effect on Tuesday (14 March).
“After the construction period on Western Road has finished, buses will return to Western Road and no longer be allowed to use Montpelier Terrace and Upper North Street.”
People living along the diversion route – Montpelier Road, Montpelier Terrace, Upper North Street and Regent Hill – have been petitioning the council to change the diversion route and have put up signs in their windows protesting at it.
They have also set up a group called the Western Road Redirection Action Group (WRRAG) to launch legal action against it.
The group’s first move was to challenge the temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which allows heavy goods vehicles to use their roads for two years.
The grounds of the challenge was going to be that TTOs cannot be used to remove weight restrictions, and that there is no justification given for the 24-month duration of the order
The council has since issued another temporary TTO, instead exempting public service vehicles from the weight restriction.
The WRRAG says it intends to challenge this one too.