Following the installation of water meters in an earlier network upgrade by South East Water, more work is due to take place from January 4, 2014, and will last roughly six weeks.
The works will see 110 metres of new pipe laid in Broad Street, from its junction with Rose Street junction, into Market Place, and to a point outside WH Smith.
David Auger, owner of Martin and Pole estate agents, on Broad Street, said: “I think it’s a very bad idea for it to be done when it’s being proposed. I think they need to wait until the new station link road is completed.
“If South East Water say it needs to be done it needs doing, but it obviously wasn’t urgent if they didn’t do it when the other work was being carried out.
“The impact on traffic will be the biggest problem.” Costing £250,000, the work is set to reduce pipe bursts by 50% in Wokingham, and should improve water pressure. Emilio Sanchez, owner of Sanpa Store on Peach Street, said: “Personally I think they should be working harder to reduce more bursts. 50% is not good enough, it should be 90%. If they’re only reducing it by 50% they’re not doing their jobs properly, it’s ridiculous.” New pipelines laid earlier in the year – at a cost of £2million – allowed South East Water to monitor water and flow through pipes. This identified areas for improvement, and new metres and pressure valves will be installed to identify leaks much faster.
Alex Cox, supervisor at Zizzi’s, Broad Street, said: “I live on Market Place and I just think there’s never going to be a good time to do water works. There’s always going to be something that is disrupted.
“I think they should work 24/7, have a day crew and a night crew to get the work done in half the time.” While work is ongoing, a section of Broad Street will be closed to traffic, and a diversion put in place around Denmark Street, Shute End and Station Road.
Chris Love, South East Water Delivery Manager, said: “We are committed to ensuring our customers receive the best water supply possible and will continue to work closely with the community in Wokingham to minimise disruption.”