LARGE parts of Fareham and Gosport were gridlocked when a dumper truck broke a gas main.
Wide areas were brought to a standstill after the incident which occurred at about 11am yesterday in Newgate Lane.
A dumper truck working on the roadworks near Speedfields Park hit a gas pipe, breaking it and cracking the gas mains.
Police closed the road for safety reasons and traffic was diverted along Longsfield Avenue until temporary traffic lights were installed at 3pm.
Some of the workers were ill from inhaling the gas but did not need hospital treatment.
Long delays were caused for drivers travelling south into Gosport with Longfield Avenue, Peak Lane and Gosport Road facing long delays as drivers tried to find alternative routes.
Steve Pollard was driving along Newgate Lane when he smelled gas.
He said: ‘I was driving past Homebase when I smelled gas where they were carrying out roadworks.
‘On my way back I was diverted towards Gosport or Lee-on-the-Solent because of the gas leak. It took me one hour and 45 minutes to get from Gosport to Hilsea.’
People took to social media to express their frustration at the delays.
Steve Mew posted on The News Facebook page saying the delays were ‘a nightmare’.
Neil Bertram also posted on the page. He said: ‘Fareham/Gosport roads are no longer fit for purpose. Total gridlock nightmare. Too many people in too small a space.’
Councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for transport at Hampshire County Council, said workers had tried hard to get the road reopened for rush hour.
He said: ‘Our first priority was to ensure the safety of the site. The gas main was fixed within a couple of hours.
‘With that done, we were able to work towards getting the road open before rush hour.
Stubbington ward councillor at Fareham Borough Council Chris Wood said the incident proved the Stubbington bypass is needed.
‘This shows that the current roads simply cannot cope,’ he said.
‘We need the Stubbington bypass so there is an alternative for when accidents like this occur.’