Cone calls after burst main caused Sidmouth ‘chaos’

88 homes affected and a jugular road was shut

A BURST water main caused ‘chaos’ in Sidmouth when it shut a jugular road into town for a day-and-a-half.

Scores of residents woke to find they had no water and were left running late for work, school and appointments when the unexpected closure took its toll on buses and traffic.

Witnesses told police ‘it looks like there’s been and earthquake’ when the sudden leak ripped a huge crater in the B3175, where Temple Street meets Arcot Road, in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

Eighty-eight homes were left without water or suffered pressure problems for up to ten hours.

Devon’s highways chief has called for Winslade Road to be ‘coned off’ if used as a diversion route in the future after the stretch and nearby streets were left overloaded by cars and congestion.

The burst main was reported at around 2am on April 27. South West Water (SWW) technicians were at the scene within half an hour. They repaired damage and restored the water supply by midday. The road remained shut until 4pm on Thursday.

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One irked resident told the Herald last Wednesday: “No buses were running through the Woolbrook area due to road works no-one knew were going to take place- leaving literally hundreds of people unknowingly waiting.”

Police said they received reports of traffic problems in Alexandria Road and surrounding areas.

Sidmouth county councillor Stuart Hughes, the authority’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said cars parked either side of Alexandria Road added to congestion problems.

“This effectively reduces it to one lane- it needs to be coned off if it is to be used as a diversion,” he said.

“When something unpredictable like this that happens on a main A-road into Sidmouth you’re going to have problems.”

A spokeswoman for SWW apologised for any inconvenience.

She added properties in Peaslands Road weren’t affected by a separate burst main- but that air was being ‘flushed out’ of the system following the Temple Street incident.