WATER bosses have apologised after a tiny hole left in the road by workmen caused miles of tailbacks yesterday.
Commuters were stuck in queues for up to two hours stretching from Halifax town centre beyond Hipperholme and Shelf in the rush hour mayhem.
The chaos came after Yorkshire Water sent workers to renew a fire hydrant on Godley Lane, near Shibden Park, on Tuesday night.
It was meant to be completed between 8pm and 6am.
But a “freakish” chain of events meant the road could not be resurfaced in time.
Yorkshire Water spokesman Matt Thompson told the Courier that a hot box keeping the asphalt molten did not work, so a fresh batch had to be sent for.
But ironically, the new delivery got caught up in the gridlocked traffic.
Mr Thompson said: “I know that a lot of people were annoyed and quite justifiably so.
“We want to apologise to local residents, businesses and road users for the disruption they suffered.
“An unfortunate and freakish chain of events meant that there was a significant delay to this repair and in obtaining a second batch of asphalt required to complete the job.
“We can only apologise and thank residents for the great deal of patience that they have shown during what was understandably a frustrating time.”
Ilyas Norat, manager of the Undercliffe Service Station on Godley Lane, said the gridlock had left his business locked down and losing money.
The 40-year-old said yesterday: “We’re nearly shut at the moment because you can’t get in. People are queueing up for hours and they don’t want to stop.
“You are talking about 100 per cent shut down. It is right in front of where we are and there have been temporary traffic lights since about midnight last night.
“It’s just completely needless. I’m quite angry about it.
“All the commuters are having to wait for hours and burn fuel and time, just for a silly reason.”
Darren Robertson was stuck in the traffic for an hour and a quarter on his way to work as a technical engineer in Leeds.
The 45-year-old, of Queensbury, said: “If somebody was there to divert people through Brighouse it would have saved people a lot of time. Everything is converging at that spot.
“It’s only a little hole but a job like that should be a priority and there was nobody working on it. It was ridiculous.”
Debbie Watson also got held up there as she took her daughter to school.
She told the Courier on Twitter: “Taken me and hour and a half to do a 40 minute journey through Halifax this morning! It’s dreadful.”
The asphalt finally arrived at around 10.30am and resurfacing was finished an hour later.
The route was fully reopened and the temporary traffic lights were removed at around 2.30pm after the asphalt had cooled.
The mayhem added to that caused by the closure of Shibden Hall Road, a popular rush hour rat run.
Calderdale Council said that resurfacing work along that route would be completed by October 7, when it will reopen.