MOTORISTS faced major hold-ups after a gas leak prompted the closure of a busy commuter route.
Gas workers shut the A27 Western Road eastbound carriageway in Portsmouth completely yesterday for emergency works.
The carriageway was blocked off to ensure the whole gas main running under the road was enforced properly.
It proved a nightmare for drivers coming in and out of the city, with queues on the M275 stretching back beyond the park and ride.
Drivers also reported queues going into the city stretched back to Fareham.
Sarah Couch, 42, said it took an hour and a half to get from her home in Southsea to Cosham.
‘It took ages,’ she said.
‘I queued back from the park and ride and it took an hour from there.
‘Some people were saying there journeys took 20 minutes – I wish mine had been 20 minutes.’
Gas distribution firm SGN began works on Friday but only one lane was closed then.
The rest of the carriageway was later shut so checks could be done on the rest of the gas network.
Frustrated drivers also spoke of delays on The News’ website and Facebook pages.
Portchester1 said: ‘Traffic was backed up on the inside lane of the M275 northbound all the way back to the Rudmore flyover.’
Gosport Kev said: ‘Has taken over 90 minutes to get from Hedge End Junction 7 to Northharbour Road.
‘Started out from Nursling industrial Estate, took 40 minutes to get to Junction 3 M27, then up to Otterbourne and back to Hedge End, then to Cosham. Total time, three hours 15 minutes for a 42-mile journey.’
Michelle Clark added: ‘It was a nightmare, why that little bit was closed is beyond me as you could get down the same bit of road from the other way if you came from Paulsgrove then used the the slip road behind it!’
The road is expected to be re-opened by Thursday.
Hannah Brett, SGN spokeswoman, said: ‘We appreciate this is an extremely traffic sensitive location and our engineers are working hard to carry out our repairs as quickly as possible. At this stage, we anticipate we will complete our repairs, restore the road surface and reopen the eastbound carriageway by Thursday.
‘We apologise to motorists for any inconvenience while we carry out this urgent repair work and we’d like to thank everyone for their patience.’