Water bosses to be grilled over Farringdon flooding that left thousands stranded

The flooding on the Thameslink line in the Clerkenwell Tunnel

The flooding on the Thameslink line in the Clerkenwell Tunnel - Credit: Archant

Thames Water is set to be grilled over a burst water main near Farringdon station which saw thousands of people stranded.


More than 50,000 litres of water gushed from the 16 inch pipe on Friday January 23, flooding the tunnel between Farringdon and St Pancras and causing at least 1,000 trains to be cancelled.

The problem still hadn’t been sorted on the Monday, meaning another miserable journey home from work for commuters.

Now bosses from Thames Water, who look after the pipe that burst, will be questioned by a City Hall environment committee tomorrow morning.

A statement from the London Assembly said: “Last week Londoners experienced major disruption when more than 1,000 trains were cancelled or delayed due to a burst water main near Farringdon station.

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“What will Thames Water do to prevent further incidents like this?”

It added: “In much of London, sewers carry both waste and rainwater and during heavy rainfall sewage has flooded homes.

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“How will Thames Water reduce the risk of this occurring by the recommended 10 percent?”

Thames Water director Bob Collington said: “The water in the tunnel cleared as soon as we cleaned out Network Rail’s surface drainage system. The pipe was full of silt and debris, and a grill which would have allowed the water to drain away was blocked solid. Basically, the water had nowhere to go.

“We believe this problem was first identified as far back as 2007, and the problems with water on the track have been caused by a lack of maintenance on their part.

“Our teams have done a fantastic job resolving this issue, and we will be presenting our findings to Network Rail as part of a full investigation into what has caused this terrible disruption to passengers.”

The questioning takes place at City Hall, from 10.30am.

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