Four-way traffic lights which gridlocked Marlborough this week were left up 24 hours after work on the roads was finished.

Thames Water is said to be facing 'punitive measures' after angry motorists complained of long delays in the town.

The water company was permitted by Wiltshire Council to install temporary traffic lights on London Road from Saturday, February 3 until the early hours of Monday, February 5, to work on water pipes.

The temporary lights caused traffic chaos over the weekend, with vehicles queueing through the town at all hours of the day, and many locals choosing to avoid the town completely.

“I drove miles out of my way today to avoid going through Marlborough,” said Anya Medlin.

“It was extra miles and fuel, but waiting in endless traffic jams time after time is stressful.”

On social media, residents who did wait in the traffic expressed their frustration at the lights being left up when no workers were there. Thames Water admitted work finished on Monday but the lights were still controlling the traffic until Tuesday (February 7).

“I went through at 11.45pm on Monday and it was completely pointless,” said David Whitehead. Holding up traffic for no reason just because they’re too lazy to remove them when they finish the job.

TJ Bohane added: “Not a single person working either. Painful.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Traffic was queueing through Marlborough even in the early hours of the morning.Traffic was queueing through Marlborough even in the early hours of the morning. (Image: Alan Newall)

Thames Water was expected to have removed the lights by 7am on Monday, February 5 so that locals could get to school and work on time.

But the lights were still there on Tuesday morning, causing further traffic chaos.

According to Marlborough Town councillor Jane Davies, Thames Water will now face punishment.

Cllr Davies said: “I have been told by Wiltshire Council officers that Thames Water will be fined for running over. They were supposed to have completed the work and cleared the site by 7am on the February 5.

“We need an explanation of what’s gone wrong and reassurance it won’t be repeated.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We are going to have high-level meetings with Thames Water as the fallout from them not completing their works by 7am on Monday is enormous and we are looking at what punitive measures we can take against them."

A Thames Water spokesperson said: "We are sorry for delays on London Road in Marlborough over the past few days. Our engineers began work on Saturday 3 February to install a new connection to our clean water pipes.

“This was completed on Monday, February 5, and the traffic lights were removed earlier today (Tuesday). We apologise for the impact on the local community and will liaise with the Local Authority on this matter."