WEEKS of misery are being predicted for commuters and businesses with the partial closure of a busy Worcester main road.

Ombersley Road will be shut to traffic coming into the city between Checketts Lane and its junction with Droitwich Road for five weeks beginning Sunday, February 17.

The move will allow contractors working for Severn Trent Water to carry out a £300,000 project to install new sewer pipes and a small pumping station in Sunnyside Road and Barbourne Road.

The work is needed in a bid to combat the flooding that occurs during heavy rainfall.

David Johnson, the joint proprietor of Johnsons news-agents in Ombersley Road, said trade was “decimated” last time the road was closed by utility works.

He said: “There’s going to be nobody coming down here.

“I remember about 20 years ago when they did the gas main and closed the road for three months and it decimated us.

“When they reopened the road it took weeks for customers to come back.

“The closure does seem extreme. They think it will cause less congestion but I can see there being tailbacks along Checketts Lane.”

A resident of Ombersley Road, who did not wish to be named, said while the work was necessary, he believed the closure would cause “weeks of misery” for commuters.

He said: “There will be many days when the work that is being carried out is not going to directly impact the major through route.

“But instead of considering the convenience of thousands of commuters and hundreds of Worcester residents, and adjusting road closures to minimise the impact, the convenience of the contractors will be paramount, as usual.”

The scheme, which is due to run from February 10 to mid-April, will see a diversion put in place along Checketts Lane and onto Droitwich Road.

Sunnyside Road will be closed during the installation, while temporary traffic lights will be placed in Barbourne Road when work is carried out there.

Frank Thompson, area manager at Severn Trent Water, said the company realised the need to minimise disruption and would work during weekends.

Jon Fraser, the council's highways manager, said the authority worked closely with Severn Trent to arrange the works at the best time to minimise disruption.

He said: “The first part of the work is scheduled during the school half term when roads are generally quieter.

“The section of Ombersley Road will only be closed one way, meaning that vehicles heading out of the city will be unaffected. Traffic heading into the city will only face a short diversion and traffic signals at the Tollhouse lights will also be switched off so vehicles will be able to flow freely to further help minimise disruption.”

A public exhibition on the plans will take place on Wednesday at Worcester City Football Club between 3pm and 7pm, where residents will be able to find out more about the road closures and planned diversion routes.