WORKS started yesterday on raising New Road in the city centre to prevent it flooding again.

The left hand lane of Worcester Bridge and New Road was closed as far as St John’s roundabout.

Traffic from Hylton Road was also prevented from turning right onto New Road

With cones in place the first visible work was the cutting back of trees directly outside the Worcestershire CCC ground - as part of the plan seven trees will be removed from the street – with 13 trees being planted as replacements in Cripplegate Park.

Knock on effects on traffic were apparent early on, with traffic crossing the bridge south backing up as far as Deansway before 8am, and with cars on Hylton Road also queueing during rush hour.

One commuter said: “I normally get into the city quite early and it’s always pretty good before 8.30, but it was much slower, though not quite as bad as I feared.

“I think it might be frustrating if it’s like that every day and I’m a bit concerned about going home. I have to drive down Hylton Road, and if the city centre is too congested, then I sometimes turn right and head for the southern ring road.

“If Hylton Road traffic can’t do that then I worry that the city centre one-way system will just become much more of a snarl-up, and it will be hard to avoid it.”

While the original report to Worcestershire County Council’s planning committee said the work would take about 12 weeks signs on the bridge said to expect delays for 18 weeks. the county council’s highways department confirmed the work is scheduled to last 18 weeks.

A tweet by Worcester Highways and Travel also suggested that traffic using Hylton Road and wanting to turn right could be diverted via Henwick Road – but that diversion has not been signposted, with the only signed diversion being instructions to turn left over Worcester Bridge.

Reaction by Worcester News readers was not entirely positive.

Lizzy Williams wrote: “Three months of disruption to save a day a year of thereabouts and at what cos?. Where is the flood impact assessment - these water will be displaced downstream onto residential areas of Diglis etc!

“Where is the Environmental Impact Assessment?

Josh Philpott added: “When a flood happens & you put a defence in place you’re only pushing a flood elsewhere.”

A reader calling himself Thomastj added: “[This] will cause people three month’s disruption, if done on time. [I’m]unsure will even help, if it does, it only causes problems for odd day every five or six years. Complete waste of money.

On Facebook Jenni Layton wrote: “Traffic is standstill all along Hylton Road as far back as the Uni. Been sat in it for nearly 20 minutes and not even made it into town yet! Good luck getting into work on time today if you live in St Johns and have to get to the other side of town

Paul Savage said: “Coming from Hylton Road you have to go through town if you’re heading for St. John’s or Malvern.” while Steven Mather predicted: “Henwick Road will end up with a lot more traffic for a while.”