Residents and businesses in Euxton face more than a week of disruption and traffic chaos after a third major burst water main in little more than a year.

The A581, Dawber’s Lane, will be closed until at least the weekend after the latest burst last Friday, which saw water pouring into the middle of the carriageway.

Engineers from United Utilities immediately closed the road in both directions for a two mile stretch from the junction with Wigan Lane to Leyland Lane.

They began emergency repairs which they hope will resolve the problems caused by what is described as a ‘very old water main’.

In September there were dramatic scenes on the same area of road when a burst pipe sent water shooting into the air, flooding nearby gardens.

There was also a similar incident in 2008, which also forced the road to be closed.

The latest road closure has caused traffic congestion, with drivers being diverted through Euxton, via Runshaw Lane.

At 9am on Tuesday morning, traffic had backed up through the village onto Balshaw Lane with many drivers unaware of the closure.

Businesses readying themselves for the Christmas rush have also been affected by the work.

Donna Wrigley, of Five Acres Plant and Florist Centre, Dawber’s Lane said it was crucial for their business that the road was open by the weekend.

She added: “These pipe bursts seem to be happening more and more, it’s about time the problems were sorted.

“It’s obviously a busy time of year and this being a main road we get a lot of passing trade.

“The next few days are the big ones in terms of Christmas trees and though our regular customers are making the effort and following the diversions we need the road to be open to traffic.”

Shaun Robertson, from United Utilities said that the road was due to re-open on Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, with the damage to the carriageway and pavement the road had to be closed in both directions.

“When the work is completed the road will have to be inspected by county highways engineers but we are hopeful that everything will be back to normal by Friday.”

United Utilities have also issued a safety message for drivers who have ignored ‘road closed signs’ and attempted to drive through.

They said: “The last time work was being carried out, members of the public removed the bollards at night and tried to drive up the lane.

“Obviously that is not safe and we would encourage residents to remain patient while work is being carried out.

“Police will be putting on extra patrols for safety reasons."