EMERGENCY works to repair damage to drainage pipes under one of the region’s busiest roads led to it being closed for much of today (Tuesday, December 4).

The A66 at Long Newton, near Darlington, has flooded repeatedly during heavy rain in recent weeks, forcing officials to close the road and causing chaos for commuters.

Representatives from Darlington Borough Council and Stockton Borough Council met with the Highways Agency to discuss the problem and find out what they intend to do to resolve the drainage issue.

Officials from the Highways Agency carried out an inspection of the pipes at Long Newton and found that a short section of the pipe had been damaged by the excessive volumes of water that flowed through it last week.

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “We are carrying out the emergency repairs but this has required a full closure of the westbound carriageway during the off-peak period.

“During the peak traffic period we reopened one lane to reduce any inconvenience, and then after the evening peak reinstated the off-peak closure, with the plan to complete the works and fully reopen the westbound carriageway for the morning peak."

Councillor Chris McEwan, from Darlington Borough Council, has pledged to monitor the work done by the Highways Agency to prevent further flooding.

He said: “I’m concerned that there may be some design issues in the drainage around the Long Newton junction and to be fair to the Highways Agency they were quite up front about that and they are currently exploring a resolution.

“I felt that they were putting in place significant resources to prevent the flooding happening again and, if it did happen again, that they could resolve it quickly.

“The proof of that will be in the pudding and I will continue to keep an eye on this issue.”