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Four days of York traffic chaos after burst water main

MOTORISTS are facing four days of traffic chaos in York after a key commuter route was closed yesterday by a burst water main.

Yorkshire Water said two unrelated bursts on a large water main in Wigginton Road – which may have been related to the heatwave – had caused ‘significant damage’ to the road surface.

“Our teams are working hard to complete the repairs quickly and reinstate the road to keep disruption to a minimum,” said a spokesman.

However, he said the company was not expecting the road to reopen until Sunday.

Press reporter Steve Lewis, who went to the scene yesterday morning to take our photos of the repairs to the burst, said traffic in the area was a ‘nightmare.’

He said: “All traffic coming down Wigginton Road into town is being diverted along Crichton Avenue and Burton Stone Lane and blocking up Bootham.”

York’s biggest bus operator First York said the burst had affected some of its buses, with the service 6 and HSB diverting via Burton Stone Lane and Bootham.

One man tweeted to Yorkshire Water: “There’s rather a bad leak on Wigginton Road, in York, about 200m down the road from the burst water main that you just spent a few days repairing.”

There have been several previous bursts in Wigginton Road.

The road was closed for a large part of last weekend after a burst outside the normal road entrance to York Hospital from about 3.30pm onwards on Friday afternoon.

Back in 2020, The Press reported a pipe burst along the same road on the ring road side of the level crossing near Nestle, and there were workmen spotted at the same site last Friday night.

And it’s almost a year to the day since there was a big pipe burst on the same spot on July 26 last year, as The Press reported at the time.

A workman on the scene said yesterday that a 600mm-wide pipe which had burst was the same pipe which burst last weekend, which had been fixed.

He said that increased demand during the recent heatwave had caused the pipe to burst.

The Yorkshire Water spokesman confirmed that the burst might be related to the recent heatwave, which saw York experience record-breaking temperatures of 39C on Tuesday.

He said: “The recent weather and increased demand for water put our pipes under more pressure than normal.

“We supplied more than 1.5 billion liters of water a day during the recent heatwave, which is the highest usage we’ve seen since 2006.

“This puts extra strain on the pipes, and this, as well as very dry ground conditions can cause underground movements and lead to fractures in the pipes.”