Motorists' misery continues as Beverley's Keldgate set to stay shut for another week
FEARS over disrupting gas, electricity and broadband services have caused delays for Beverley motorists.
Keldgate – one of the main arteries through town – has already been shut for a week and could be closed for a further week.
It was initially closed last Tuesday because of the dangers caused by a wall at Keldgate Manor.
That has now been demolished but East Riding Council and utilities providers fear the problem may have been caused by an underground void and there are problems with gushing water, possibly from a fractured pipe.
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It means the road will be closed for some time while a thorough investigation is carried out.
Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services at East Riding Council, said: "We've got water pouring into the sewer.
"It could be spring water or it could be an old culvert.
"There is a dip in the road and we held up excavating at the weekend.
"The closure could be for some time, depending on what we find.
"We are concerned we may get a collapse."
Underneath Keldgate is a major 10in gas main, an electricity cable that serves Beverley and Cottingham, water pipes, fibre-optic cables and a large public sewer.
The complex picture means work has to be delayed until services can be isolated.
People in Keldgate were expecting to see plenty of activity at the weekend as contractors dealt with the issues.
But weather problems meant the work was put off and very little progress made after Friday night.
Mr Leighton said: "We can't dig until the gas and electricity providers have isolated other services.
"If we knocked out the whole electric and gas, I don't think we'd be very popular, so the last thing we want to do is rush."
The work has comes at a bad time for Beverley. Access to the town is also slow along York Road, where temporary traffic lights have been installed to allow flood water to be pumped away so a flood protection wall can be built to safeguard homes in Willow Grove.
Until the Keldgate work has been carried out, the road will remain closed to vehicles between Eastgate and Queensgate.
Access is being maintained at all times for residents and pedestrians, with a diversion in place for motorists – via Lairgate, Hengate, New Walkergate and Railway Street.
But for taxi firms, the work means longer journeys and lost revenue.
Michelle Moor, licence holder with Beverley-based Westholme Cars, said: "It's not going to a be a quick job but they've done it because of the safety issues, so we can understand that.
"It's had a dramatic effect because we have to go right around. It's a major road and everyone has to go around, so that has a knock-on effect.
"Drivers are dealing with it pretty well during the day but it still means you can be sitting in the traffic for 20 minutes.
"Friday and Saturday nights are our busiest times but we're also busy from 8am to 9am in a morning.
"Little streets like Minster Moorgate are usually very quiet but now they're getting a lot of traffic."
Mr Leighton said the diversion had been working well.
He said the work would be completed as soon as safely possible and thanked drivers for their patience.
He said: "There has been no gridlock so far.
"Traffic has been slower but it has not ground to a halt."
For enquiries about the closure, call East Riding Council's highways customer care line on 0845 6001666.