A bus diversion route is due to be closed again because of “a severe water leak”, with no date set for when the road in the centre of Brighton will reopen.
ROAD CLOSURE: Upper North Street will be closed from 9am tomorrow (Friday 31 March) until further notice for emergency repair work. A severe water leak has caused significant damage to the road. Buses are being diverted via Seven Dials. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience. pic.twitter.com/k90kevZqHB
— Brighton & Hove City Council (@BrightonHoveCC) March 30, 2023
The latest leak is at least the fourth in Upper North Street since Brighton and Hove City Council roadworks in Western Road led to the rerouting.
The council said last night: “Upper North Street will be closed from 9am tomorrow (Friday 31 March) until further notice for emergency repair work.
“A severe water leak has caused significant damage to the road. Buses are being diverted via the Seven Dials. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience.”
Residents believe that the leaks are being caused by the hundreds of buses that have been using Upper North Street each day for about two months.
Three water leaks have damaged the road so far this month and there has also been a gas leak.
But the council said that the problems were nothing to do with the extra heavy vehicles now using the road, blaming joint failures in Southern Water’s old infrastructure.
The council started work in Western Road last November and it is due to be completed by May next year. The bus diversions began in January.
After the last leak, the council 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.”
People living along the diversion route – Montpelier Road, Montpelier Terrace, Upper North Street and Regent Hill – have petitioned the council to change the route.
They have put signs in their windows to protest about it and formed a group called the Western Road Redirection Action Group (WRRAG) to take legal action against the council.