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Gas leak leaves drivers fuming

PUBLISHED: 13:37 05 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

ANGRY motorists in Ipswich were caught in a massive tailback today – all because of a hole in the road triggered by a gas leak.

Vehicles queued from a set of temporary traffic lights under the railway bridge on Wherstead Road ask to the Orwell Bridge on the A14.

ANGRY motorists in Ipswich were caught in a massive tailback today – all because of a hole in the road triggered by a gas leak.

Vehicles queued from a set of temporary traffic lights under the railway bridge on Wherstead Road ask to the Orwell Bridge on the A14.

Hundred of cars slowly crept in to Ipswich and drove past the cause of their problem.

A hole, measuring about 6ft by 3ft and 1ft deep, was being worked in by two Transco employees.

Drivers complained of the problems the obstacle had presented stating they had been held-up for miles and had journey times delayed by up to an hour.

One fuming motorist said: "This is ridiculous, I've been stuck in this for an hour. It goes right back to the Orwell Bridge. It's a nightmare."

Jeff Evans, a spokesman from Transco (the gas pipeline operator), said engineers were excavating in the road to fix a gas leak which had been reported on Monday after someone smelled gas.

"Our engineering team was excavating in the footpath and it is standard practice to leave a hole to ventilate and monitor," Mr Evans said.

"We will be there until we complete a repair," he said, adding that it was impossible to predict how long this would take.

"This is a gas escape, so obviously it's a priority," Mr Evans said. Engineers were on the scene so the area was now safe, he added.

Today's traffic go-slow is the second time in less than a week that a hole has triggered jams on Wherstead Road.

Last Friday, the busy eastern approach road to the town was gridlocked as a small hole in the road caused hundreds of motorists to be late for work as they became trapped in the filter system.

The work was being carried out to link a property to the mains gas supply.

Drivers fumed last week as they queued to pass the barricaded hole which little more than three feet wide. To add to motorists' fury, equipment stood idly by the mini crater with no workmen in sight to fix it.

And in March, traffic backed up for miles to the Nacton side of the Orwell Bridge as Transco barriers sealed off a ten-yard section of Wherstead Road. A spokesman from Transco said at the time that a gas leak had been reported and engineers were there to carry out repairs.


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