King’s Lynn traders hope for compensation after burst water main loses a day’s business
09:56 27 October 2012
Norfolk town centre had no water for whole day leaving schools, leisure centre and businesses high and dry
A burst main left King’s Lynn schools and businesses closed and homes without water.
Business owners are hoping Anglian Water will now compensate some of their losses as many traders had to keep their doors closed for the whole day.
The 14-inch pipe ruptured at around 8.30am yesterday in Kettlewell Lane and a large area of the town was immediately affected.
Public toilets, businesses, a nursery, leisure centre and a school were all forced to close their doors as a result.
Many businesses serving food remained closed all day as projected repair times slipped from early afternoon to 5pm. Supplies were restored to all but two customers by 8pm last night.
With no fresh water for staff or customers to wash hands or flush toilets, cafes and restuarants could not trade.
“We have lost hundreds of pounds, probably around £1,000 as we haven’t been able to open all day,” said Sarah Perrin, manager at the Filling Station, Norfolk Street.
Six members of staff had to be sent home because of the closure and one of the cafe’s busiest trading days was lost. “I have spoken to Anglian Water because, for us, it’s a huge loss and it would be nice if there was some sort of gesture from them,” said Miss Perrin.
A spokesman for the company said it would talk to affected businesses once the immediate problem had been resolved.
“It is certainly a conversation we are more than happy to have with them,” he said.
Lorraine Todd, manager at Subway, in Norfolk Street, said: “We have lost a whole day’s trading on our second busiest day of the week - with Saturday the busiest.
“It’s not great, but we’ve been decorating for Halloween to keep ourselves occupied,” she added.
Michael de Silva, manager at the Lattice House, in Chapel Street, said the pub had to close at around 10.45am.
He said: “We could not provide clean water to our customers or for our staff to use so we have had to close the pub because we can’t trade.
“One minute the water was there and the next it was gone. When I came in I was told we had no water and then we made the decision to close.”
St James swimming pool and leisure centre, along with all the town’s public toilets were among the first to close.
West Norfolk Council, which also had no water at its Chapel Street offices, took the decision to close the leisure centre as there was a lack of toilet facilities.
The town’s Eastgate Primary school was shut during the morning, giving children an extra day for half-term. The King’s Lynn Nursery was also closed at lunchtime.
The town’s magistrates’ court shut its doors during the morning and the town police station was also without water.
A reduced-pressure service was restored to some customers at lunchtime, but around 100 properties were still without water altogether.
Engineers worked at Kettlewell Lane, near Austin Fields, to repair the main with escaping water still being pumped into the nearby river from the hole in the road at 1.30pm.
Antony Innes, from Anglian Water, said: “We are very sorry for the disruption and inconvenience caused to customers in King’s Lynn town centre who have been affected by a loss of water supply following a burst water main on Kettlewell Lane.
“A 14-inch water pipe burst, initially affecting supplies for large parts of the town and the surrounding area. Our engineers have been on site throughout the day repairing this damaged section of pipe. It was more complicated that was first thought as the pipe had cracked, so a larger section had to be replaced,” he said.