Motorists endured marathon delays this morning – after being caught out by four-way temporary traffic lights.
Utility giant Severn Trent has been digging up part of Victoria Road, in Hanley, following a burst water pipe.
But the works are just yards from Joiners Square roundabout – and sparked massive queues along Victoria Road, Leek Road and Lichfield Street.
The traffic lights had been removed by lunchtime today, although the traffic was still reduced to one lane around the roundabout. The roadworks are scheduled to finish on Wednesday, February 26.
A Severn Trent spokesman said: “Our teams are fixing a burst water pipe which is something we can’t put off. We understand how difficult it is for drivers with traffic lights in place but it’s essential we keep our teams and drivers safe while we carry out the work. We’re working as quickly as we can and would like to apologise to anyone affected by this important repair.”
Urriah Mereka took two hours to travel just a few miles this morning.
The 64-year-old, from Hanley, said: “I left work at 8am and got home at 10am – and travelled just a few miles. It means I will have to leave home even earlier just to get to work on time. It is a nightmare for people living here and I’ll have to find another route to avoid getting caught up in the chaos.”
Fellow motorist Paul Roberts, aged 69, from Hanley, said: “It took me an hour to get here with huge tailbacks all the way.”
Liz Taylor, aged 56, from Hanley, said: “Congestion is already very bad getting out and about in Stoke-on-Trent and this has only made things worse. I will have to make alternative arrangements to avoid long delays.”
The Severn Trent roadworks come as Stoke-on-Trent City Council is preparing to carry out surveys and dig trial holes on Leek Road, between Warrington Road and Palmerston Street; on Lichfield Street, between Joiners Square and Westmill Street; and on Victoria Road. The work will result in lane closures and is expected to be completed by this summer.