Collapsed sewer leads to traffic delays in Bath Road, Cheltenham
ONE of Cheltenham's busiest roads could be closed for two weeks after a sewer collapsed.
Workmen from Severn Trent have shut Bath Road at its junction with High Street.
It has caused traffic chaos as drivers attempted to find another way around the town's one-way system.
County councillor Klara Sudbury (All Saints, LD) was among those caught in the traffic jam.
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She warned motorists to avoid the area and find alternative routes.
She also called on Gloucestershire Highways to improve diversion signs to help keep the traffic flowing.
She said "The area has quickly become gridlocked.
"This is not surprising as it is such a busy road."
She said the traffic chaos raised concerns about the impact of the possible closure of Boots' Corner on the town's roads.
She said: "If the impact of closing Bath Road is this bad over a short-term period, the council must be absolutely certain that this sort of congestion will not happen around the town if Boots' Corner is closed to through traffic."
The spot on Bath Road was closed for seven weeks from the beginning of July as the firm tried to fix a blocked sewer pipe.
Bosses admitted they did not know if the latest problem was related to the previous work.
Traffic is currently being diverted either down College Road or along St James's Street.
Mrs Sudbury argued the signs need to be much clearer.
"If possible, people may find it easier to try to avoid driving in the area until the works are complete. It is in a very difficult place so it is nobody's fault that the road is closed, but people need to plan ahead," she said.
"We have been told the work will last for about two weeks."
Cheltenham resident Mark Willingale added his voice to the frustration.
"Traffic is awful," he said.
A spokeswoman for Severn Trent apologised for the inconvenience caused by the work.
She added: "The road has been closed since the middle of last week while we deal with a collapsed sewer.
"It is quite a complex repair, but we are working as quickly and as safely as we can to get the repairs completed as soon as possible.
"We understand closing the road is causing inconvenience for a lot of people, but it is important to get this problem resolved."