FOR WEEKS it has caused misery for motorists who have been stuck in their cars for hours while businesses say that they have seen their trade dramatically slashed.

From drivers complaining of “chao-tic” conditions to local shops blasting the road works for costing them thousands of pounds in lost trade – the weeks of ongoing works to lay a new water main in Colden Common have been “torturous”.

Tensions have even escalated to such an extent that contractors had reportedly called in the police after being verbally abused by angry members of the public.

But finally, there is an end of the nightmare in sight as half of Main Road was due to be reopened tonight, with temporary traffic lights set up to help ease congestion.

Since its closure on January 6 by Southern Water for essential works, motorists have been caught up in jams for more than an hour and bus services have been suspended, to the frustration of local residents.

Outlying areas have also suffered heavy congestion as desperate drivers tried to find an alternative route.

Businesses at Fisher’s Pond in Colden Common have also reported a rapid decline in trade, with some claiming to have lost up to 30 per cent of their usual custom.

But with work reaching completion, the southern half of the road was due to be reopened tonight under temporary traffic control as the project moves into its final phase.

Work, however, will continue until February 28, with roadworks moving further up the road.