Hole in the road causes havoc for A449 commuters

Hundreds of drivers faced long delays today as temporary traffic lights near a small hole in the road created chaos on a main route between Kidderminster and Dudley.

TRAFFIC 3 AE 16

Hundreds of drivers faced long delays today as temporary traffic lights near a small hole in the road created chaos on a main route between Kidderminster and Dudley.

The traffic lights were creating delays of up to an hour on the A449 between Bridgnorth Road, Stourton and Wall Heath.

South Staffs Water was fixing a burst underground water pipe overnight - but left the ground to settle until returning to resurface the road this afternoon. It  baffled drivers who found the hole cordoned off and no workers.

No-one was at the site until about 11am today.

One business fears it could be left counting the cost as customers get caught in the queues.

Staff at Prestwood Petzone on the A449 were left waiting as customers were caught in the queues.

Martin Jones, 59, reptile manager at Prestwood Petzone, said: "We didn't get anyone through the door for the first hour and there has definitely been a drop in customers.

"It's been bumper-to- bumper outside and it took some of our staff hours to get here. We've been hoping things will improve otherwise our trade will be hit."

Mr Jones, who lives in New Dudley Road, Wall Heath, said the works should have been done overnight to minimise disruption.

The traffic was the worst he had seen in 13 years of using the A449, he said.

He added: "I couldn't see any workers there this morning so I had no idea what was going on — I thought surely it can't be an emergency. They could have thought this through a bit better because it has caused absolute chaos."

The road was reduced to one lane for about 50 yards - with the lights filtering traffic through.

Motorists travelling on the route, which leads to Wolverhampton, were stuck in the tailbacks.

Queues stretched for about two miles from the Stewponey junction in Stourton to Wall Heath.

Delays were also caused on the A491 through Wordsley and Kingswinford into Stourbridge, as drivers tried to avoid the roadworks.

Traffic jams also went back about two miles along the A458 Bridgnorth Road, and down the A449 towards Kidderminster. The road was reduced to one lane.