SEVERN Trent Water has been fined £5,000 after its delayed work brought gridlock to Worcester city centre.

Just days after commuters thought the worst of the Sidbury work was over, many were stuck on London Road and surrounding roads, brought to a standstill in the rush hour on Monday morning.

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Councillor Alan Amos, who has responsibility for highways at Worcestershire County County, has attacked the water firm for "causing the chaos".

The queuing traffic was caused by temporary traffic lights near the junction for Waitrose, where work was meant to be completed at the weekend but went over into Monday.

A spokesman from the water company said: "We’d like to apologise to everyone who’s been affected.

"The work should’ve been completed (on Sunday) but unfortunately ran over.

"We were carrying out some planned work to help our network run smoothly in the area but can only apologise to commuters."

Cllr Amos said: "They asked us for permission to do a small job, resealing a manhole cover would you believe.

"They took it on themselves to do more work than they had permission for, and did not tell us about this.

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

"We are fining them £5,000."

Last night the roadworks were understood to still be there, and Cllr Amos added that they would likely look at fining them again for another full day.

"It is the maximum penalty we are allowed to give, it seems the only thing they understand," Cllr Amos.

Alan Tidy, chairman of St Peter’s parish council, said: "London Road area up by Waitrose, a large hole dug in the road - not a workman in sight."

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Over the weekend Cllr Amos had thanked drivers and pedestrians for their patience throughout a near-three month project in Sidbury to replace out-dated traffic light signals.

That £2 million scheme had caused heavy tailbacks during peak times, but the worst appeared to be over with only some minor resurfacing, kerbing and calibration only left to be completed.

Writing on social media yesterday, reader Neil Rogers said: "Got caught up in the traffic - saw loads of lights but not one single worker."

Andrew Simmons said: "Queues over river, Deansway, Sidbury - one hour Lower Wick to Tolladine."

And Kalsoom Sadaqat added her school run took 90 minutes extra due to the roadworks.