Ipswich: Closed shops lose thousands after pipe burst

Frustrated town centre shopkeepers are today counting the cost of a burst water main which forced them to close for 24 hours.

A water main situated in Tavern Street close to the junction with Tower Street burst in the early hours of this morning.

As a result, a large area of Tavern Street had to closed, including about 30 shops, one of which is believed to have flooded. Although some shops did open, several were left without water.

Ciaran Nelson, a spokesperson for Anglian Water, said: “We first found out about the burst to a 9” cast iron main at 4am on Thursday morning.

“We isolated the burst shortly after 5am, which stopped the leak. We inspected the site with the local council and police, and the burst appears to be straightforward to repair, but the damage caused to the surface of Tavern Street is significant.


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“The street was closed yesterday, as were all the shops – about 30 in total. We’ve either spoken with the owners and managers, or put letters through the door of every shop that’s closed to let them know how they can get in touch with our loss adjustors.

“We’re only aware of one shop flooding at the moment, but discussions with shop owners are ongoing.

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“Just 13 properties were without water while we repaired the main, but most of those were the shops that were closed anyway. We started to recharge the water main at 2pm, and water supplies will have returned just after that.

“The road will be open to pedestrians from about 8pm this evening, and people may spot some temporary tarmac in place over the top of the repair.

“This isn’t permanent, and we will be returning shortly to get the blockwork paving reinstated. We will get the road surface back into its original condition.”

One eye witness, who asked not to be named, said: “I was down here at 4.15 this morning and there was six inches of water in the road.

“It was a like a river. It’s going to cause mayhem today because I’m guessing it will take ages to repair.”

Jo Lister, store manager at stationery shop Paperchase, one of the shops which has been forced to close, said she was unsure when the store could re-open.

She said: “I have just been on the phone to my staff and told them they won’t be coming in today.

“I have informed our head office of the situation as well. I can’t get into the store because it’s within the area that’s been cordoned off.

“It’s just one of those freak incidents which is totally out of your control. I don’t know when we’ll re-open or whether the shop has been damaged.”

Warren O’Connell, the manager of Ipswich market, added: “This will cause absolute mayhem for shoppers and traders in town today.

“To have such a large area cordoned off will have severe repercussions. I fear the market will be a quiet one today.”

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