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Drivers in Bedford face a weekend of traffic congestion up to and including Monday morning's rush-hour - because of a burst water main.
Anglian Water say they're sorry for the disruption being caused in central Bedford as they undertake emergency repairs to a burst water main.
In a statement to Heart this afternoon (Friday 23rd), Emma Staples from Anglian Water, said:
"We’re sorry for the continuing traffic disruption in Bedford caused by emergency works to repair a water main in Horne Lane. We will be working round the clock to return the road to normal as soon as possible, although we expect the repair to continue over the weekend and into Monday.
The road will be permanently reinstated, which takes longer but means we won’t have to go back and lay the road surface again at a later date. We’re aiming to lay the tarmac on Sunday night but this takes several hours to cool. This means the road is likely to remain closed until Monday afternoon, but open in time for the evening rush hour.
In the meantime, we advise people use alternative routes wherever possible. Customers’ water supplies are not affected but we know this work is disruptive and we are sorry for that.
We’ll be providing updates on how the repair is progressing over the weekend, so that everyone is up-to-date and can make plans for Monday."
Parking, diversions and bus routes
Bedford Borough Council says, "We have encouraged Anglian Water to address water related problems in St Paul's Square for many months. With water collecting on the roads and with freezing conditions overnight and during the day we again contacted Anglian Water last week to report this and request action to address it.
It is incorrect of Anglian Water to attribute blame to the Council for the disruption and delays caused to traffic by this work as Anglian Water advised the Council that it would only be an overnight closure.
We understand that engineers from Anglian Water remain on site and will be working through the weekend to fix the leak. Based on their advice we expect work to be completed and the road to be opened on Monday afternoon. While this work continues we advise drivers to avoid Horne Lane and St. Paul's Square and to expect delays in journeys through the town.
Buses coming into Bedford town have been diverted to Prebend Street and Midland Road. Local bus services are not stopping at Borough Hall, Bedford College or St Paul's Square.
For anyone using the car parks at Riverside Square, River Street Multi-Storey or the Harpur Centre, bus lane restrictions have been removed so you will be able to access them by driving up River Street from Greyfriars."