Burst water main forces school in Leighton Buzzard to close early for summer


A middle school was forced to close a day early for the summer holidays after a water main burst in Leighton Buzzard yesterday (Thursday) - but it turns out it didn’t really need to.

The water leak was near the mini roundabout at the junction with Vandyke Road and Meadway and the burst main meant there may have been problems with Gilbert Inglefield Academy’s water supply today (Friday).

The LBO has been told that the school was made aware yesterday that the repair work was taking place overnight and that the water would be back on before it was due to open this morning.

But the Academy told the LBO it made today’s closure decision at 5pm yesterday, and at that time it had received no update from Anglian Water on the progress of the repairs.

Steve Adams, headteacher, said: “The decision was not taken lightly, we had been advised by the water board that there was a probability that we would be without water, and we decided to make the call to parents and staff at 5pm.

“At this point we had not heard from the water board regarding an update and we were working in a tight time frame, the decision had to be made to let parents know.

“Once the message had gone out to parents and staff, the office staff left.

“We then received a message on the answer machine from the water board at 5.29pm to say the repairs were taking place over night and the water should be back on in time for the morning. I was out at a school trip and returned to school at 9pm.

“A decision like this, to close the school is never taken lightly and we waited as long as we could to make it.”

The burst water main has now been repaired and the road will now be resurfaced.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Yesterday (Thursday) we had a burst main in Leighton Buzzard which we repaired in the early hours of this morning.

“To allow our teams to complete the repair work safely we installed temporary traffic lights. Customers were back on water by 4.30am this morning.

“The traffic lights are still in place to allow the road to be resurfaced which will happen today, after which the traffic lights will be removed.

“We’re really sorry for any inconvenience this has caused customers or road users.

“After any interruption to supply the water may look a little cloudy or discoloured for a short while.

“Customers should run their taps for a few minutes until it clears, more information can be found here: www.anglianwater.co.uk/cloudy.”