MOTORISTS travelling into Swansea along Mumbles Road faced gridlock yesterday.
At the height of the morning rush hour queues backed up all the way up Mayals Road to Clyne Common and along the front as far as Norton.
The cause of the disruption was a lane closure on the east bound section of Mumbles Road near Victoria Park.
Wales and West Utilities has started a 26 programme of gas pipe replacement work.
It is spending over £1m renewing the gas pipe network in Sandfields and Brynmill installing over £3k of new plastic gas pipes.
Mumbles councillor Tony Colburn was among those caught in the tailbacks.
He said: “I was held up in the traffic on the way to a meeting.
“It took me twice as long as normal to get to my meeting,
“The work which is being carried out is going to cause enormous disruption and considerable delays for commuters.
“Hopefully with everyone co-operating the disruption will be cut down to a minimum.
“However these works are essential and must be carried out.
“I hope they will be finished as quickly as possible and completed urgently.”
Dad of two David Williams who was travelling in from Mumbles said: “I thought the delays it might be from flooding, because the ground by the skate tube in Blackpill, was swamped, and that is right next to the Mumbles Road. I didn’t realise that it was roadworks until I got close to St Helen’s.
“The traffic was crawling from Ashleigh Road all the way into town, because it was down to one lane by the rugby ground.
“It added at least 20 minutes to the journey and maybe longer, and made me late for work.”
The 26-week programme of work, which was planned to avoid Christmas, has been discussed and agreed with the council.
Another commuter said: “I think people are soon going to lose patience if there are these delays every morning.
“It’s no exaggeration to say there was chaos. I appreciate there is no alternative route — people will be trying to cut through Sketty but it just lead to problems there.”
Tracey Duffy, of Dragon Crafts on Mumbles Road, said she was worried the roadworks would put people off visiting the area.
She said: “We have an awful lot of roadworks around Swansea now.
“People were delayed for about an hour this morning because of the roadworks and a broken down car.
“However I think it was just confined to the rush hour traffic as all afternoon the traffic has been flowing freely and nobody has had problems going into Mumbles. We don’t want people to be put off visiting.”
Nigel Tamplin, Wales and West Utilities operations manager said: “We started work on Monday on our £1m investment scheme to replace 3km of gas main to upgrade the gas network in the Sandfields and St Helens areas of Swansea.
“This will bring improved services for gas users and support the future regeneration and growth of the city.
“We worked closely with the local authority to ensure that work on this essential scheme avoided the busy Christmas period, but unfortunately there’s never a good time to do work such as this - especially on locations as busy as Oystermouth and Mumbles Roads.
“We’ve designed this scheme to minimise traffic disruption as much as we can. This is essential work and we are asking people to please bear with us.”