MOTORISTS in Rawtenstall were experiencing long delays this morning after a water main in the town centre burst.

It is believed that the burst water main then caused the road to collapse.

The incident happened near to the Queens Arms pub, but traffic is affected heading in all directions towards the roundabout.

A United Utilities spokesman said: “An emergency water mains repair will cause long delays in Rawtenstall today.

"Queens Square roundabout is down to one lane. Really sorry, the team has been working overnight on this difficult job. It could be tomorrow before the lane is reopened.”

Neil Tuersley, United Utilities Service Delivery Manager, said: “This emergency work is causing long delays on the roads today and we are genuinely sorry for the inconvenience this will cause people.

“For this to happen in such a traffic sensitive place while we are already creating disruption with the sewer scheme is extremely bad luck. We want to get the pipe and road repaired as soon as possible and get this lane reopened.”

The burst water main is unrelated to the £7m sewer project, which started earlier this year to help clean-up watercourses in the town. There have been no water supply issues for customers during this leak.

Traffic information:

Queens Square roundabout is being reduced to one lane, clockwise from junction of Bury Road to Bacup Road.

A682 heading North into Rawtenstall coming from M66 North, 2 lane dual carriageway is being reduced to one lane approaching the roundabout.

Traffic likely to affect all roads approaching roundabout including:

A682 bypass northbound
A681 Haslingden Road
A681 Bocholt Way
Bury Rd
Bacup Road Eastbound
A682 St Mary's Way southbound

There are already traffic restrictions in the area due to the work on the sewers. These are:

A682 St Mary's Way northbound with two lanes reduced to one lane
Bacup Road eastbound have temporary traffic lights in place.

Vehicles travelling round the roundabout will not be able to turn right onto St Marys Way, so are being diverted down Bacup Road, where there are temporary traffic lights.