JUST when Worcester motorists thought their roadworks nightmare was over, with the Sidbury upgrades finished last week, Severn Trent Water stepped up to bring London Road to a standstill yesterday.

The water company was supposed to be completing the minor job of resealing a manhole cover over the weekend but, according to Councillor Alan Amos, decided to carry out more work while there and couldn't finish on Sunday.

So, on Monday morning, drivers were met with temporary traffic lights at the Waitrose junction and a hole in the road surrounded by barriers. The only workman in sight was leaning on the barriers while he talked on his mobile phone. Some motorists were delayed by as much as 90 minutes.

Cllr Amos, who has responsibility for highways at the county council, was suitably seething and vowed to fine Severn Trent £5,000, the maximum allowed – which doesn't seem much for such a big company, given the chaos caused.

"This is the kind of attitude we have to deal with," he said. "But we have zero tolerance."