Earlier this week SGN began what will be three months' worth of gas works in South Wimbledon.

This is part of a £417,000 upgrade to the gas network at the junction of Merton Road and Kingston Road.

The works were originally meant to begin on January 13, but due to emergency gas works taking place in Colliers Wood, the upgrade was delayed.

Dan Brown, spokesman for SGN, said the work involved replacing its old metal gas mains with new plastic pipe.

As a result of this, Merton Road has been closed to all motorists at the junction with Kingston Road for the duration of the period.

"In order to carry out our network upgrades safely at this junction, we’ve needed to close sections of road around our work area," Mr Brown said.

"Motorists looking to enter Merton Road will need to follow our signed diversion via Montague Road and The Broadway.

"Drivers wanting to exit Merton Road at this junction will be diverted via The Broadway, Hartfield Road and Kingston Road. We’ve also needed to reduce the eastbound carriageway of Kingston Road to one lane on its approach to the junction.

"The existing traffic light system at this junction has been replaced with temporary signals. These temporary UTC lights are being controlled by TfL to help manage traffic flow and minimise congestion.

"Pedestrian access to homes and businesses is maintained and all shops in the area will remain open as usual throughout our work."

But some have criticised the decision not to carry out the works on a 24/7 basis.

Abbey Ward Councillor Nigel Benbow harped back to gas works that took place more than a year ago.

"Last time back in summer 2018, the gas roadworks in the same place at South Wimbledon was complete chaos for six weeks and done for nothing because SGN couldn't fix the gas pipe, hence the works were abandoned," he said.

"I was reassured this time by the council officer that they would be more organised which clearly isn't the case.

"No signs at bus stops causing confusion, local businesses are losing trade and are very worried. This is causing huge inconvenience to the local residents."

A Council spokesman said the original plans this time around were for people to be working on the site 24/7.

But noise concerns led them to act differently.

"This job really is unavoidable, the old pipes are coming to the end of their lifespan, and without these works there would be a serious risk of a major gas leak, or that the neighbourhood would suffer from multiple un-planned emergency closures in the near future," the council spokesman said.

“The original plans were to work on this project 24 hours a day, however a number of residents raised concerns about the noise going into the night.

"There is still a large number of residential properties in the local area who would be hugely affected by noise from 24 hour working, and we have listened and taken this into account."

He added that more than 15,000 leaflets were handed out prior to the works taking place in order to inform nearby residents.

SGN said that its engineers will be working between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.