Residents suffer traffic chaos as sewer collapse adds to problems

Temporary traffic lights set up on Station Road in Kirkham earlier this year
Temporary traffic lights set up on Station Road in Kirkham earlier this year

Traffic in Kirkham has been described as “chaotic” after a sewer collapsed on a busy stretch of road.

The incident happened last Monday on Station Road due to a damaged pipe five metres below the ground.

We are very sorry for the impact this may have had on people trying to get on with their daily routine.”

United Utilities spokesman

Lancashire County Councillor Liz Oades believes United Utilities needs to be held responsible for the disruption.

She said: “I contacted United Utilities last Wednesday but they could not tell me when the road would be reopened.

“County Council can only patch up the holes so much, as the water underneath keeps washing the road away.

“Everything is an emergency, I told United Utilities about holes appearing in the road two or three months ago.”

A United Utilities spokesman confirmed the road had now reopened.

He added: “We started digging on a collapsed sewer on June 1 and thought we only needed one lane so set up temporary traffic lights.

“By Tuesday morning, we needed to extend the excavation, which required us to close the road.

“A diversion was set up and we completed the repair work on June 5.

“We are very sorry for the impact this may have had on people trying to get on with their daily routine.”

County Coun Oades added: “It could have been dealt with at a much earlier stage but now with the road closure it has caused so many people so much inconvenience.

“I don’t know why it takes United Utilities so long to do something, but the closure has meant the traffic in the town is chaotic.

“It took my sister an hour to get through Kirkham on the day of the collapse.”

Olivia Turner, a resident on Ribby Road, said: “The last few days since the collapse, the roads in the town were chaotic – no one was moving anywhere fast.

“It seems like this problem could have been rectified much earlier and the road closure could have been avoided.

“Station Road has been a nightmare road this year for drivers in the town.”

Drivers have already faced major disruptions as Network Rail began work rebuilding its railway bridge on the road.

Temporary traffic lights were set up as a result on the road for three months in January.

Network Rail said the work was essential as the bridge had reached the “end of its life expectancy”.