RESIDENTS of a busy one-way street in St Neots have been angered by the sudden closure of the road.

East Street is currently subject to sewer works by Anglian Water, and a road block has been put in place. Residents have been told the work is an "emergency" and were given no notice that the road will be shut for three weeks. Letters were put through doors as the workmen set up the closure last Wednesday (June 20).

Two-way traffic has been temporarily allowed along the narrow street, but residents fear that the closure will cause congestion, is a safety risk and will disrupt the emptying of their bins.

Alison James said: "If it was an emergency, that's fine, but the lady that I spoke to said she reported the problem five weeks ago and now, all of a sudden, it is an emergency. It has not been thought through properly. It's a very busy street. Residents will have to reverse all the way back up the road or do U-turns. We are so near to the lights that it's going to cause gridlock in St Neots. It's going to be hell."

Mrs James said she received notice about the closure at noon - as engineers arrived to start work.

Anglian Water's Antony Innes said engineers were forced to close the road when they discovered a dangerous collapsed sewer. He admitted that problems were reported "a few weeks back" but investigations revealed the extent of the problem only last week.

He said: "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to residents of East Street, St Neots.

"A recent CCTV survey of the sewer network discovered a void beneath the road surface which, if left unchecked, could be dangerous to road users. This is why we had to act swiftly and close the road and start work to fix the problem."

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire District Council assured residents that bin collections would not be disrupted.

She said: "Our operations team are aware of the works but they will not prevent bin collections."