Drivers and residents face weeks of misery as road is dug up - again

Long queues due to new road works, on Burnley Road, Luddenden Foot
Long queues due to new road works, on Burnley Road, Luddenden Foot

Drivers are facing misery as work to replace the main water pipe under Burnley Road is causing long delays through the Calder Valley.

Yorkshire Water began the project to update the water pipe - which has burst six times in the last five years - in Luddenden Foot on Monday and the work has already attracted criticism from those who use the road regularly.

At peak times, drivers have reported queues stretching back over one mile in both directions as 600 metres of ageing water main is replaced from the junction with Danny Lane, to just before the Springfield Camping Shop, Luddenden Foot.

The project is expected to last for five weeks and with more work scheduled to start next year, motorists are set to face even more frustration.

John Armitage, of Luddenden Foot, said: “We will have to put up with this for five weeks, so they tell us.

“This is about the fifth time this year that the road from the top of Tuel Lane to Luddenden Foot has been halved by temporary traffic lights.

“Each time it is for for a minimum of three to four weeks and the operation is only carried out for about eight or nine hours per day.

“This leaves us still having to suffer long delays during the evening and the weekend whilst we negotiate the empty roadworks.

“Why can’t this work be continued into the night? This will shorten the length of time that we will have to tolerate it. It might be noisy for those of us who live near the road but at least it will be for a shorter period.”

Two-way traffic lights will be in place on Burnley Road for the duration of £170,000 project and will be manned during peak hours.

Ross Housley, Project Manager for Yorkshire Water, said: “When this water pipe bursts, it causes disruption to local residents and road-users, and this work will significantly reduce the risk of that happening in the future.

“We’d like to apologise to residents and road-users for any inconvenience caused.”

The work is the latest in a series of delays and is another setback for motorists following prolonged gasworks earlier in the year and proposals for work beginning in the area next year.

Geoff Willerton, Calderdale Council’s Head of Planning and Highways, said: “The current Yorkshire Water works on the A646 Burnley Road are a one-off mains repair.

“There is however a programme of gas main renewal works planned for next year.

“This is only at the proposal stage, so full details and dates are yet to be confirmed, but we will be liaising with Northern Gas Networks to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.”