Luton blocked sewer saga to cause misery into next week

Roads linked to Luton town centre have been gridlocked well past the normal morning and evening rush hours in the past week, but motorists can expect further disruption.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 7:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 7:43 pm
Thames Water carrying out repairs in New Bedford Road

Responding to “complex” problems with a blocked sewer, Thames Water was forced to close a section of New Bedford Road by the railway bridge close to Telford Way, which caused delays for many.

The issue was first reported on Wednesday when Thames Water carried out preliminary investigations.

Initially the road remained open but by Thursday morning drivers approaching town from New Bedford Road couldn’t drive under the bridge and up Telford Way and were forced to veer left instead along Hucklesby Way.

Thames Water carrying out repairs in New Bedford Road

The knock-on effect caused jams up the A6 towards Barton Road and also in Old Bedford Road and Stockingstone Road.

A Thames Water spokesman said the firm had hoped to resolve the “complex” issue by Friday evening.

But yesterday he said: “We’ve had engineers on site constantly since being made aware of the leak, but getting access to our blocked sewer is more complicated than first expected.

“We’re bringing specialist machinery in on Saturday to help us complete the work. In the meantime, we have pumps working around the clock to prevent any pollution from our network. This means the road will remain partially closed, but if all goes to plan we expect everything to be back to normal by Tuesday morning.”

Thames Water carrying out repairs in New Bedford Road

The blockage was been caused by a seized metal ‘gate’ which diverts sewer flows when necessary.