NO END date has been provided for overrunning emergency gas works which are causing traffic chaos in Christchurch.

Utility firm SGN initially said work at the Fountain Roundabout in the town centre would be finished on Thursday evening. However, work continued Friday and the company has said “it is too soon” to say how long it will take to complete.

Motorists have faced lengthy delays since Wednesday as a result of the emergency work, which has seen one lane on part of the bypass, Fountain Way and Barrack Road blocked off.

Read more: Lane closure causing delays on A35 in Christchurch

SGN hold a permit for the lane closure until May 19, but a spokesperson for the company told the Daily Echo: “Due to unexpected engineering difficulties, our repair is taking longer than expected. We’re working hard to complete our work as quickly as possible but it’s too soon to say when this will be completed.

“We’d like to thank the local community for their continuing patience.”

This is not the first set of roadworks to cause chaos at the Fountain Roundabout this year.

Councillor Simon McCormack of BCP Council said: “The challenge we have is that most of the major utilities all run through that main stretch.

Read more: LIVE: Long delays in Christchurch, Bournemouth and on A338

"Christchurch is effectively an island between two rivers. We’ve only got 4 entrances and access points into the town. So, when the Fountain Roundabout goes down, it really causes problems.

“I was going to ask (BCP Council) highways whether they have some sort of solution for when this happens because it can’t go on like this forever.

"I’ve lived here for 33 years, and it’s always been the same. Every time the Fountain Roundabout has roadworks it causes big traffic problems.

“There must be another solution.”

In a Facebook post, Councillor Simon McCormack added: “I will try to get an update from the SGN or BCP Council highways as to the likelihood of this being any sooner and what can be done in the long term as Fountain roundabout seems to get dug up way to often and causing huge traffic around town.”