A ROAD closure that has caused misery for motorists for more than a month is to be suspended to alleviate possible congestion from roads closed by flooding.

Weeks of works to lay a new water main in Colden Common have seen tensions escalate to such an extent that contractors reportedly called in the police after being verbally abused by angry members of the public.

Businesses at Fisher's Pond in Colden Common have reported a rapid decline in trade, with some claiming to have lost up to 30 per cent of their usual custom. Outlying areas have also suffered heavy congestion as desperate drivers tried to find an alternative route.

But Southern Water said it would be suspending the works until the flood risk dropped.

A spokesman said: “There will still be temporary lights in the area because of excavations related to the ongoing work.

“The scheme is nearing completion but there is still a small amount of work to do and the project team will need to return at a later date.

“We'd like to thank customers and road users for their understanding and can assure them we'll do all we can to finish the remainder of the scheme as quickly as possible.”

This comes after the water company reopened the southern half of Main Street one way on Sunday evening. Work, however, will continue until February 28, with roadworks moving further up the road.

Southern Water said that because the location of the full road closure will move north of the Colden Common roundabout, a shorter, local diversion route will be in place. In addition, other alternative routes will be signed to try to minimise congestion.