STROUD was subjected to traffic chaos over the weekend after a water main burst.

A Severn Trent Water team dug a hole to reach the faulty pipe on the A46 Painswick Road on Friday evening, leaving temporary three-way traffic lights at the Beeches Green/Stratford Road roundabout.

The lights remained in place until the repairs were completed around 4pm on Monday, causing widespread gridlock.

Congestion was not limited to the A46 but also saw large queues along Cainscross Road right up to the Walbridge roundabout.

Many drivers took to social media to vent their frustration at the situation, which occurred while the popular Seed Festival was taking place at Hawkwood College.

Many families were also heading to the outdoor pool to cool off as temperatures soared.

Stroud district councillor Chas Townley (Lab, Uplands) criticised Severn Trent for not finishing the work sooner.

“The way Severn Trent handled the repairs is well below the standards I believe we should expect from a well-managed utility,” he said.

“We all understand that works to repair water mains need to be undertaken in an emergency but to walk away without finishing the job is totally irresponsible.”

Severn Trent has now apologised. 

A spokesman said: “We’d like to apologise to everyone who was affected by the roadworks on the A46.

“It took longer than we hoped for us to get things back to normal as, after fixing the burst pipe, we then realised that it had caused more damage than we first thought.

“That meant the repair was delayed while we made the carriageway safe. Once we were satisfied the road hadn’t been undermined, we were able to fill in the initial excavation and then to get a team out to resurface the road.

“While we understand people’s frustrations, we felt it was better to make certain that everything was safe for drivers before reopening the road.”

Stroud Town Council has also expressed concern. 

Members of the consultations committee plan to write to Gloucestershire Highways requesting that out-of-hours procedures be amended to allow engineers to take emergency action in such circumstances. 

They say the county council should undertake repairs in such situations and then charge the utility company responsible.