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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Water company's 4bn pipe dream
Burst water pipe
Thames Water hopes to minimise disruption caused by street works
A 4bn programme will tackle London's ageing water mains network in an attempt to cut down on leaks.

More than 1,000 miles of pipes will be replaced in Islington, Brent, Camden, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea.

The Thames Water scheme is focusing on these boroughs as they sit in the clay basin which is prone to burst mains due to shifting soils and heavy traffic.

In London more than a third of mains are more than 150-years-old and more than half are 100-years-old.

Thames Water's Engineering Director Mike Tempest said the company would work with local authorities in an attempt to minimise disruption to the public caused by street works.

He said: "Our planned programme of work cannot be postponed any longer. Further delay would only store up problems for the future.

"Though it will inevitably involve some short-term pain, the work will bring many long-term benefits, crucially a reduction in the potential for future bursts and leaks, minimising the need for more street works."

The programme plans to make the improvements over five years from 2005 to 2010.

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