Motorists faced renewed chaos today after a major road was closed following delayed reaction flooding.

The eastbound-carriageway of the A27 between the Lancing Manor roundabout and the Sussex Pad traffic lights, Shoreham, was shut last night after water from two days' of heavy rain seeped off the Downs and onto the road.

Police and the Highways Authority decided to set up a contraflow system on the westbound-lane, which was also showing signs of flooding.

The Highways Authority has drafted in a large industrial pump in a bid to shift water from the road through a pipeline to the River Adur half-a-mile away.

But the operation is being overwhelmed by rain running off already saturated countryside, combined with springs which have ben dormant for hundreds of years suddenly bursting into life because the water table is so high.

The A27 was closed for a week in October due to flooding, gridlocking the A259 coast road as far back as West Worthing, causing motorists to rat run through residential streets.

It resulted in a 25 minute journey from Worthing to Brighton taking more than two-and-a-half hours.

Problems for drivers this morning were increased by major roadworks on the A27 between Worthing and the Ham Manor traffic lights, Lancing, which has also reduced traffic to a single lane in both directions.

Meanwhile only one main route between Bognor and Chichester is open to traffic.

Large queues built up on the A259 between the two towns caused by the closure of the B2166 Pagham road while workmen continued laying a pipeline as part of a flood relief scheme for Chichester which is due to be switched on by December 23.

West Sussex County Council says it hopes traffic problems will start to ease when the B2166 opens.

A spokesman said: "We are hoping that the work will be completed tomorrow and have a team working round the clock to get the work completed as quickly as possible."

Among the roads which were still closed today because of flooding was part of the A29 Shripney road between Bognor and Fontwell.