MAJOR gasworks in a Northumberland village are causing traffic chaos as vehicles are diverted down narrow residential streets.

Northern Gas Networks requested a series of road closures in Wylam to carry out gas mains replacements, with disruption expected until September 12.

However, diversions put in place have made it difficult for some drivers, with one post on social media describing a “Mexican stand off” between vehicles as they attempted to get by on the village’s Woodcroft Road.

The roads closed are:

C254 Burgoyne Terrace Wylam from its junction with C257 heading east for a length of 34 metres

C254 Laburnum Terrace Wylam for its entire length

C254 Main Road Wylam from its junction with U8233 heading east for a length of 68 metres

According to roadwork monitoring site One Network and Northumberland County Council’s road closure order, traffic is officially being diverted 18 miles via the C257, B6528, A69, B6528, B6309, A68 and A695. The half-hour route shown on the site takes in Stocksfield, Prudhoe and Crawcrook.

However, instead of taking the official route, some drivers are choosing to instead cut down Woodcroft Road – a residential street flanked by parked cars that make it difficult for two vehicles travelling in opposite directions to get down the road.

Cllr Holly Waddell, who represents the Bywell ward that incorporates Wylam, said she had received several complaints from residents and urged anyone with an issue to get in touch.

Cllr Waddell said: “Traffic is going down residential streets and it is causing quite a lot of frustration. I’ve had some correspondence on it.

“I would say the county council and the streetworks team are being very responsive on it. Every time I’ve rang, somebody has attended very quickly.

“They’re trying their best. It’s a tricky situation to manage.

“Residents should keep reporting any problems they’re having to myself or the county council. We will keep trying to improve.”

Northern Gas Networks has explained that the ageing metal gas pipes are being replaced by new, plastic pipes that are more durable and will ensure safe and reliable gas supplies. It will also make the network ready to transport alternative green fuels in the future.

The company added that diversions are “clearly signposted” from the main road and signage is in place to say that access to the village is for local traffic only.

Dean Fuller, business operations lead for Northern Gas Networks, said: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these essential works.

“The upgrade project has been planned following extensive engagement with local customers and stakeholders and was agreed to take place during the school holiday period to avoid impacting school traffic.

“We’re having regular conversations with customers and stakeholders in the local area and are continuing to listen to feedback. We are keeping our traffic management plans under review, but it’s really important that road users follow the signed diversion route that we have put in place and pay heed to the road signs.

“We know that no-one likes roadworks and we want to assure residents and road users that we will be working hard to complete this essential scheme as safely and as quickly as possible.

"In the meantime, we advise that road users allow additional time for travel.”