THE closure of a lane is causing traffic congestion in Worcester while overhanging branches are cut down near the racecourse.

A lane is closed and temporary traffic lights are in place on the A449 Croft Road, Worcester, between the viaduct and the racecourse while the work is carried out, causing delays in both directions.

The work by Worcestershire County Council is described as 'routine tidying of branches' at the racecourse boundary.

A council spokesperson said: "It was scheduled to take place last week during half term but had to be postponed due to the flooding. The work is being done off peak."

While the work is underway two-way traffic signals and a temporary pedestrian crossing have been installed. Several workmen in helmets and high-vis jackets could be seen carrying out the work which involved a crane and other vehicles.

The footpath remains closed near the racecourse with cones and barriers in place but the crossing near the viaduct is open. The work started after 9am this morning and is scheduled to finish at 3.30pm this afternoon.

A reader said: "The traffic was queuing in both directions and seemed heaviest in Castle Street with cars backed up towards the junction at the Tything, blocking the crossing there.

"At one point I saw a workman directing traffic out of the Cattle Market car park. Some of the drivers coming out of the car park seemed to be uncertain whether they should wait or go until a workman clarified the situation.

"The work had not started on my drive in to work this morning. I just hope it finishes before rush hour or it's likely to become very congested. It's hard enough getting home in Worcester at the best of times."