Yorkshire Water says Hull MP's statement on burst water mains is 'incorrect'

The burst water main on Spring Bank West
The burst water main on Spring Bank West
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Yorkshire Water has hit back after a Hull MP claimed it does not have a proactive maintenance programme, following a number of burst mains in Hull.

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy used examples of 100-year-old systems failing in Hull, to back up Labour’s plans to renationalise utility companies.

Emma Hardy was elected Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in the June 2017 snap election.

Emma Hardy was elected Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in the June 2017 snap election.

It comes as the westbound carriageway of one of the city’s major road arteries, Spring Bank West, remains closed more than a week after a main burst.

The eastbound carriageway was due to reopen on Monday night.

Labour wants to hand control of newly-created regional water companies to local councils, who would run the services along with the help of community leaders and trade unions.

The MP stated: “Having met with Yorkshire Water last year I know that they do not have a proactive maintenance programme, which is staggering from a company that made a profit of £129m last year and claims to be investing over £1m every day to maintain pipes, pumps and treatment works.

“100-year-old systems that fail as they have in Hull would suggest this is not enough or it is not effective and things must change.

"We need utilities such as water, which is vital to everyone, to be managed and maintained in the national interest, which is why Labour would bring water back under common ownership to benefit the nation not just shareholders."

Deputy council leader Darren Hale also accused water firms of being “totally irresponsible” for “neglecting to maintain systems”.

However Yorkshire Water said the MP’s claim that they didn't have a proactive maintenance programme was “incorrect”.

The company said: "When we met with Emma Hardy MP last year we explained that we had carried out more than 1500 proactive repairs across Hull in the first half of 2018/19, three times more than the same period the previous year."

They also had 2,740 acoustic loggers to pick up leaks and had also doubled their proactive inspection teams. In Hull this year they are investing over £4m in pipe infrastructure.

They added: “Just because a main is old, does not mean it is in poor condition and often the oldest pipes perform as well as newly laid plastic pipes, which is why these mains remain in service for so long.

"When understanding the condition of a main, often other factors such as material type, soil type, pressure in the main, traffic loading, diameter are other attributes that we consider.”

Yorkshire Water said they hoped Spring Bank West would be fully opened by Wednesday afternoon, weather permitting.