A WATER leak has caused traffic chaos.

Neighbours living close to the junction of Thicketford Close and Crompton Way in Tonge Moor have criticised water chiefs from United Utilities for leaving a “giant hole”, which they say has caused major traffic disruption.

Eric Cheetham, of Thicketford Close, claims United Utilities staff have not been working at the site for several days, with the firm saying delays had resulted from the fact special fittings had to be manufactured in order to complete repairs. Mr Cheetham, aged 68, said: “It’s been there about five or six days, it’s big enough to get a car in. It’s got a fence around it and temporary traffic lights. But I haven’t seen anyone working on it in the past few days.

“Cars are queueing along Crompton Way because they’re having to swerve the hole to get past. There should be some work going on if it’s causing this much major congestion. If I have to go shopping I’ve got to make time to get past the obstruction.”

Bosses from United Utilities have apologised for the delay.

A spokeswoman said: “We are really sorry for the inconvenience, we have worked as fast as we can.

“We were working on this last week and fixed the leak on Friday.

“It is on a large pipe so it has taken a little longer than usual because we have had to have special fittings manufactured.

“Our engineers backfilled the hole on Monday and everything should be back to normal by tomorrow.”