UPDATE 5:05pm:


A SERIOUS gas leak from a “completely shot” main is causing the closure of a busy road in Worcester.

The A443 Hylton Road will be closed from 7pm  tonight after “extremely high” gas readings were found around the Crown and Anchor pub.

National Grid has been working on the road since the end of November, trying to deal with several smaller gas leaks.

But Worcestershire County Council’s highways department said that a more substantial problem was discovered this afternoon.

“They now have extremely high gas readings in the vicinity of the closed Crown and Anchor public house,” a spokesman said. “It appears that the gas main is totally shot and the main itself actually goes across the road.”

National Grid is currently venting the gas to allow traffic to pass during the afternoon rush hour before it closes the road completely.

It has requested the road closure remain in place until Tuesday (19) but spokesman Jane Taylor said it is hoped the road may be open again at some time tomorrow morning.

“Where we can we will always keep traffic flowing when carrying out work, but if the main is too far into the road then we have no choice but to close it,” she said. “Sometimes the exact nature of a problem only comes clear when we are actually working on the job.”

She added: “We are replacing a stretch of old main where there have been a series of escapes for a long time.

The work will put an end to it and once it is done that will be the end of the disruption.”

Diversions along Henwick Road are being put in place for drivers travelling both into and out of the city.


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