Commuters faced delays of nearly an hour after a gas leak in the middle of a busy junction.

Queues of up to two miles were reported as workers carried out emergency repairs in Lewes Road, Brighton, throughout yesterday (December 3).

Southern Gas Networks (SGN), which is carrying out the work, apologised for the disruption adding they hoped to complete the work by the middle of the week.

With buses delayed and thousands of people late for work, transport bosses called for an urgent look at how roadworks are managed in the city.

Roger French, chief executive of Brighton and Hove Bus Company, said: “I really think that the way roadworks are managed in the city needs to get sorted out.

“It’s clearly not working and makes trying to run a bus service that people can rely on very frustrating for both us and our |passengers.

“I really think it’s something the city council needs to get to grips with.

“I do not think Southern Gas Networks really understand the effect they have on people’s lives and the health of the city.

Planned repair

“It has a devastating effect on many people and it’s becoming a recurring thing now.”

The repair was needed in the second lane of the southbound carriageway of Lewes Road, near the Vogue Gyratory junction.

SGN said it had been monitoring the leak for the past few weeks adding it had planned the repair with Brighton and Hove City Council.

Holly Smith, who works for the local authority, travels from Lewes to Hollingdean every day.

She said: “I just can’t be late for work as I’m on flexitime.

“This means I’m going to have to set the alarm an hour early to make sure I’m on time.”

Hannah Brett, of Southern Gas Networks, said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and thank everyone for their patience while we complete this essential repair.

She added: “The repair is now complete and we now need to do some final checks before filling the excavation. We hope to finish our work here by the middle of this week.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Southern Gas has informed us that the road should be back to normal by tonight.”

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