All too often the main roads of Wokingham are dug up by the leading utilities for new gas pipes, new water pipes, and new cables. As always, one wants to do their work at a time when the others do not. It means year after year we have holes in the road for one reason or another.
This time it is the water industry. They are already in the dog house for their failure to supply us this summer, claiming drought. Their prices are high, their service poor and their pipes leaky. I am holding meetings with them to see if they can in the future do better for us.
All these utilities should look at ways of containing pipes and cables under a pavement or verge in a conduit which allows access for repair and replacement without having to dig everything up. Commercial buildings no longer run cables and pipes through plaster and in walls, but contain all the crucial ones beneath the floor, with access through easily removed floor panels. Why on earth can’t we do the same to avoid digging up the public highway?
I am also urging the water industry to move more siwftly to competition, to start to improve service and bring prices down. There are good reports of the impact of competition for Scottish business customers. Why can’t we have that south of the border? I also want to see their plans to ensure we do not run out of water in the future. This all too wet summer allows them to fill their reservoirs and improves the water table. Som now is a good time to collect enough water for future use to avoid future drought scares.