Drivers were today facing a third day of traffic chaos in Aberdeen city centre.
Market Street, Guild Street and Virginia Street have seen gridlock after communications cables were badly damaged during roadworks.
Openreach engineers have been working since Sunday to repair the damage but the resulting diversions and traffic restrictions have caused major disruption, particularly during rush-hour periods.
Unfortunately we have no timescales from BT for the repair they are carrying out at Guild Street / Market Street / Virginia Street junction. but indications are it may be two-three days.
Our team is manually adjusting the various traffic signals to keep disruption to a minimum
— Abdn City Council (@AberdeenCC) February 5, 2019
Police Scotland also urged supporters travelling to the Scottish Premiership fixture at Pittodrie tonight between Aberdeen and Rangers to prepare for delays and leave extra time for their journeys. A police statement said: “Supporters should be aware that there is emergency work ongoing at Virginia Street, Market Street and Guild Street in the harbour area of Aberdeen. Supporters are therefore advised to avoid the harbour area and to use alternative routes.”
#Buchan Link Services
Please be prepared for delays with these services today due to the road works on Market Street in Aberdeen.
— StagecoachNScot (@StagecoachNScot) February 6, 2019
Engineers have been working to repair the broken cables, but Openreach revealed the damage was much worse than initially feared.
The company is now working to install new underground infrastructure. That meant additional traffic restrictions were introduced on Monday evening, causing chaos for drivers.
Traffic is unable to turn right onto Market Street from Guild Street, and there is no southbound route from Union Street to Guild Street.
The disruption has seen some motorists facing hour-long queues to get from North Esplanade West to Guild Street.
A spokeswoman for Openreach issued an apology to road users who were affected by the chaos, but insisted the firm was not to blame for the disruption.
She said: “A third party was carrying out roadworks in the area using heavy digging machinery, which has severed three steel pipes carrying telecommunications cables.
“The damage is so extensive it has not been possible to feed new cables through the pipes.
“We now need to open the road to widen access so we can install new underground infrastructure.
“Road restrictions will be extended for three days initially and we’ll do everything possible to carry out repairs as quickly as possible.
“This wasn’t Openreach’s fault and we need to reconnect customers, and have been working with the relevant authorities in terms of the roadworks needed.”