Severn Trent working "flat out" to fully re-open A40 at Churcham tomorrow morning
Severn Trent engineers are throwing everything at a major leak to try and prevent traffic chaos tomorrow morning on one of Gloucestershire’s busiest commuter routes.
A burst water main on the A40 at Churcham has seen the road closed between the A48 junction at Linton near Highnam and the junction with Oakle Street at Churcham all weekend. The water firm is bringing in temporary traffic lights today to reopen the road.
The leak was detected yesterday by Severn Trent Water, and it managed to bring back water supply to homes in Highnam fairly quickly.
But one home was left without a mains supply for several hours.
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Motorists were left fuming on Saturday as they faced diversions through narrow lanes, and businesses were quieter than normal.
Traffic snarl-ups in Oakle Street forced police to make it a temporary one way road to ease the pressure.
General Garage filling station in Huntley was hit by a big drop in passing trade.
“It’s quite quiet here,” said Jackie Kennaugh, who works at the garage on the A40 on the eastern side of the village.
“We are getting the locals coming in and one or two others but passing trade is quite low.”
Donald Price of DR Price and Son Agricultural Engineers in Oakle Street, said police made it one way because motorists were having to back up often.
“They ran the traffic from the A40 towards the A48 for a time,” he said.
His mum Ruby said getting to Minsterworth was not a problem but travelling in the other direction meant lengthy diversions.
“It’s very annoying really,” she said. “I hope they sort it out soon.”
Huntley was besieged by roadworks while Severn Trent replaced old water main further west along the A40 from where the burst happened.
That was part of a £53million project to improve water infrastructure in Gloucestershire. The Huntley scheme cost £300,000 but residents and commuters were not impressed at delays which started in September last year.
The A40 is a major route for Forest of Dean commuters heading for Gloucester and Cheltenham, and roadworks would have a major impact on traffic which regularly queues for several miles back from Over.
A Severn Trent Water spokesman said: “We stopped the leak in a few hours and the road should be completely open by Monday morning. Temporary traffic lights are being used today.
“We are working flat out to have it done by then. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we are confident it will be open.”
He said the cause of the leak was not known at this stage but it would be investigated.
Homes initially affected by the leak were in Highnam. They included houses in Hill Crest, Stoney Field, Clayburn Close, Woodleigh Field, Pincoate, Peters Field, Longfield, Oakridge, Cams Ground, Pinetum Drive and Maidenhall.