A FLOOD of compensation claims could hit Thames Water, from traders whose livelihoods have been affected by the latest water main burst in Brentford.
Almost all the businesses along London Road have reported significant to severe loss of custom since the highway was closed for repairs more than a week ago.
The area experienced the third serious burst in just over a year, causing the junction with Commerce Road to disappear under thousands of gallons of water, on Wednesday last week,
The traders say their recent drain on income is directly linked to the incident and claim they are working in a ghost town because of the flood.
They were further dismayed at being told the road would not be back to normal until Sunday, which means they look set to miss out on the first few days of the normally lucrative half-term period.
The manager of London Tile Company in High Street, Grant Willis, said: “Afternoons are normally when it is busiest, but yesterday we only had one customer. This is disastrous.”
Antonio Montero, manager of Pets at Home in London Road, said his shop’s takings had fallen by half since the burst.
A shopworker at Evans Cycles in High Street said: “We have definitely noticed much fewer customers coming into the shop. It has been unusually quiet, by far the quietest I have ever seen it.”
Crispin Flintoff, who lives on the Syon Estate in Brentford, said: “I cannot get to the other side of Brentford unless I take the A4. This doubles the length of time for the journey and is expensive.
“But it is the businesses that are really suffering. If you go town to Brentford it is like a ghost town.
“There are a lot of people in the town that are really fed up with this, and we want compensation.”
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “We are really sorry for the disruption caused by the pipe that burst last week. Unfortunately, the cold weather has delayed the repair and we now anticipate having the road reopen by Sunday.
“However, we may experience some problems getting the concrete to set if the temperatures fall as low as forecast, so we apologise in advance if this gets delayed again.
“Traders can apply for compensation and we will consider each case on an individual basis.”
Brentford councillor Ruth Cadbury has written to Thames Water adding to the demands for compensation for affected traders lost earnings.
Surrounding roads have continued to be badly affected by the closure, with near gridlock occurring during rush hours.
Traffic websites have added to the confusion by reporting the road is closed due to a burst water main, leading people to believe further incidents have taken place.