Disruptive work on Bessemer Road expected to continue for 4 weeks

Tankers and traffic lining Bessemer Road in Digswell near Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Thames Water is urgently repairing a burst sewage pipe. - Credit: Diana Holt

Roadworks on Digswell's Bessemer Road (A1000) near Welwyn Garden City are set to continue for the next three to four weeks following a major burst sewage pipe. 

For the past three weeks, up to ten tankers at a time have occupied one lane on the road while the other has been open to the public and controlled by temporary traffic lights.

Herts County Council explained that the traffic lights were required to allow a large number of tankers to be on-site 24/7 to manage the flow and avoid flooding. Long queues have formed at peak times, making the school run harder for some parents. 

Thames Water, who are carrying out the emergency repairs, said that an 18-inch diameter pipe had burst but there is no one explanation for why this happened.

A spokesperson explained: "Damage to pipes and sewers can be caused by a range of factors, such as wear and tear, ground movements and changes in temperature.

"We don’t yet have a firm completion date as the repaired pipe will need to be reconnected, after which a pumping station in Bessemer Road can be safely brought back into full service. 

"We’re sorry for any disruption caused by our work to repair an 18-inch diameter sewer pipe in Digswell. Our engineers are working hard to complete the repair, while also monitoring and controlling the flow of wastewater in the local network to ensure there is no impact to homes, businesses and the environment.” 

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Diana Holt, who lives on Foxley Grove in Digswell, explained how the repairs have affected her. She described long tailbacks regularly holding up traffic on Hertford Road, Bessemer Road and A1000. Queues have "stretched back to the A1(M) junction on the A1000, and beyond the junction with Knightsfield on the Bessemer Road".

HCC said they had been told by Thames Water that they expect the repairs to continue for another three to four weeks.