A ROAD in a village near Colchester had to be closed down for hours after a digger damaged a pipe and caused a gas "emergency".

The B1027 in Elmstead Market was shut between Tye Lane and School Road after a gas leak was reported at about 2.30pm on Thursday. 

According to Cadent, the leak was caused after a digger hit a gas pipe not far from Sibbons Plant & Sales shop.

As a result of the closure, motorists faced travel disruption in both directions for several hours with one driver describing the situation as "terrible".

A Cadent spokesman said: “Our gas emergency engineers were called to investigate a gas escape on the B1027, Brightlingsea Road this afternoon after a third party damaged a gas pipe.

"The damage was caused by a digger working just off the road near Sibbons Plant & Sales shop.

“To enable us to repair the damaged gas pipe, we had to close this section of the road B1027 for safety reasons. 

"We hope to have the repair completed and the road reopened in the next five hours or so.  

"We are working with the local highways authority to put in place the road closure and diversionary route.

“Thankfully, no one was injured and gas supplies have not be affected.

“We ask for people’s patience whilst we complete the repair and avoid this road for the next few hours.”