MOTORISTS in a South Derbyshire village have been told to expect at least two more weeks of delays after damage to a collapsed sewer turned out to be worse than first thought.
Part of Repton was closed off earlier this month for emergency repair work following the collapse.
It was originally hoped that work could be completed and Brook End reopened within a week, but motorists have been told it will be at least two more weeks before that will be able to happen – a month longer than expected.
The closure of Brook End has seen drivers sitting in queues for more than an hour with traffic stretching back as far as Willington.
Repton Parish Council has distributed information to many concerned villagers regarding the situation, while Repton School has also contacted parents with children due to return for the start of the new school year next week – which is feared could lead to further traffic misery.
Motorists have been advised to avoid the area near the village’s Repton Cross monument where a set of lights has been installed to manage traffic.
Work to repair the collapsed sewer has been hit by a succession of setbacks.
Contractors discovered that the situation was worse than first thought after a further part of the sewer was also found to have given way.
This meant the need to create a further hole in the road so workers could rectify the problem.
Attempts to provide a quick fix then proved unsuccessful, with the only option left for workers to replace the whole of the affected pipe.
Parish council chairman John Shortt said the work had affected almost everyone in the village.
He said: “I think everyone in the village has seen it and is living with it. Repton is one of the main routes of traffic from Swadlincote to the A38, so it can get very bad at times.
“At its worst people were queuing back into Willington and an equal distance in the opposite direction.”
Martyn Ford, who represents Repton on Derbyshire County Council, said he feared the situation could be ‘disastrous’ in the village once the children were back at school.
He said the process had proved to be frustrating for workers and motorists alike.
He said: “Unfortunately we’re taking two steps forward and three steps back every time. We were hoping to get part of the road open at the weekend but sadly that wasn’t able to happen. It will certainly be another week, maybe longer.
“Now we’ve got the schools coming back, but there are measures in place, such as no parking cones which will hopefully help to stop congestion.”