QUEUES of traffic in and out of Worcester stretched for more than a mile last night when the city centre ground to a near standstill.

Frustrated motorists battled with congestion until about 8pm after emergency repair works and a traffic light failure caused chaos on the roads.

One lane of College Street was coned off to enable engineers from Severn Trent Water to re-instate the condition of the pavement and road following work the body had carried out at a previous date.

Meanwhile, a traffic light failure at the Sidbury junction added to drivers’ woes.

At one point, the jam stretched from the city centre to the Oak Apple pub in Spetchley Road.

Driver Freya Leng described the state of traffic heading out of the city centre.

She said: “It was nose to tail all the way along from Hylton Road.

“It was like gridlock near The Butts and all the way up past the cathedral. There didn’t seem any reason for it.”

Reader Becky Sutcliffe said queues were “huge” on London Road heading into the city centre at 8pm.

She said: “This road is getting worse - there are constant queues going out of town every morning and queues at peak evening times when people are trying to get home.”

Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council’s highways manager, thanked motorists for their patience.

He said: “The build up of traffic on London Road on Wednesday evening was caused by traffic light failure at the Sidbury junction in addition to urgent re-instatement works being carried out by Severn Trent Water on nearby College Street.

“Both works have now been completed. Highways engineers attended the traffic lights promptly and they are now fully operational again.

“On occasions like this, we have no option but to rectify an issue as soon as possible and we would like to thank motorists for their patience.”

A spokeswoman at Severn Trent said engineers were called in at the request of the highways department and she apologised for any traffic delays caused.