Traffic nightmare after major water main bursts in Thornhill Lees

CAUSING HAVOC: Emergency repair work on a burst water main has closed off a roundabout at the junction of three roads in Savile Town and Thornhill Lees. (d26031204)
CAUSING HAVOC: Emergency repair work on a burst water main has closed off a roundabout at the junction of three roads in Savile Town and Thornhill Lees. (d26031204)

A SCHOOL has suffered ‘horrific problems’ after a major water main burst.

A roundabout covering three roads at Thornhill Lees has been closed off for repairs, triggering traffic misery and huge queues. And the chaos could go on until the middle of next week as engineers have to ensure the repaired pipe is completely clean.

In a bid to beat the snarl-up, many drivers turned up a cul-de-sac leading to Headfield CofE Junior School and ended up in the car park.

Headteacher Geoff Smith said: “It has been horrific.”

He blamed poor initial signs and lack of information for much of the problem.

Even after diversion signs were put up, one articulated lorry took out a safety barrier at the bottom of Vicarage Road, which leads to the school. “Luckily, no children were nearby,” said Mr Smith.

The burst has affected Station Road, near the junction of Forge Lane and Thornhill Road.

Traffic heading into Dewsbury from Thornhill and Thornhill Lees has been diverted along Thornhill Road and from there on to the Huddersfield Road.

As motorists try to find alternative routes, long queues have built up at peak times with drivers reporting taking up to 45 minutes to travel just a few miles.

The burst happened last Friday.

A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “It was a big burst causing a lot of disruption. As a priority, we ensured the water supply was not affected. But damage was substantial.

“After repair, we have to chlorinate the pipe to make sure it is spotless. After that, we can start to re-fill the road and we are looking at the middle of next week before all that is complete.

“We can’t take any risks and this is normal procedure for something of this magnitude. A big thank-you to everyone for their patience.”

Mr Smith said Monday was the worst day. “It quietened down after that,” he said, “but a lot of people have been making a bad situation worse.”

He praised parents and children for getting to lessons on time.

On Monday morning a text message was sent out asking people to walk to school if possible. “They took heed of that and it really helped.” he said.

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