Motorists in Harborough are being warned over impending traffic misery with a key road being hit by four weeks of gas pipe replacements.
Drivers from Harborough have become accustomed to traffic-jam hell in recent years with town roads being closed while water pipes were replaced.
The most recent cause for congestion was the 15-week closure of Coventry Road between January and April while Anglian Water completed a £1.5million flood-prevention scheme.
And the latest delays will be centred around the much-used A6 in Kibworth while National Grid carries out what it calls “essential work which will secure local gas supplies for decades to come” in the A6 and nearby Church Road in Kibworth Harcourt.
The work starts on Monday and will take four weeks.
Although the A6 will remain open, there will be three sets of temporary traffic lights in use – one set on the A6 opposite the Coach and Horses pub, and one on the A6 half-way between the junction of Marsh Drive and the layby opposite the cemetery; and a third set at the junction of Church Road and Hillcrest Avenue in Kibworth Beauchamp. They will be manned at peak times.
Marsh Drive, in Kibworth Harcourt, will also be closed during the work.
A recent County Hall traffic census on the A6 showed that up to 24,000 vehicles use the road on an average weekday.
National Grid says it has tried to mitigate the impact of congestion by planning the work in the school holidays.
Mark Allsop, a National Grid authorising engineer, said: “People in Kibworth enjoy a safe and reliable gas supply and our job is to make sure it stays that way.
“We will do everything we can to complete the project as quickly as possible and to minimise any inconvenience.
“We greatly appreciate the cooperation and patience of the community and motorists.”
Twitter users reacted angrily to the news.
Some suggested routes to avoid the A6 such as travelling via Mowsley and Lubenham, while others pointed out that A6 traffic is already bad as it is.
Andy Wright said: “On Friday I queued almost from the Foxton crossroads to Church Road in Kibworth for 15 minutes – for no apparent reason! It was gridlock.”