Thames Water has apologised after overrunning works caused Abingdon to be gridlocked during the morning rush hour. 

The water company was carrying out work on Monday night to install a new connection to clean water pipes in Stert Street. 

This was scheduled to be completed by 5am.

But the "essential work" carried on into Tuesday afternoon and had a knock on impact on multiple roads in Abingdon and surrounding villages. 

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Businesses missed appointments as a result of the delays and some pupils were half an hour late for school.

It was taking drivers more than an hour to reach Abingdon from villages such as Frilford and Wootton.

A spokeswoman for Thames Water has apologised for the works overrunning and thanked the public for their patience. 

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She said: "We are sorry for delays in reopening Stert Street in Abingdon. Our engineers began work yesterday (Monday, January 22) to install a new connection to our clean water pipes.

“This has now been completed and our teams are reinstating the road, which we expect to open tomorrow morning.

"We’d like to thank motorists and local residents for their continued patience while we carry out this essential work.”

The apology was issued shortly before 3pm today. 

Despite suggesting the road will not reopen until Wednesday morning, Oxford Bus Company confirmed just before 2pm that the road is open. 

A statement from the bus operator said: "We can confirm Stert Street has been reopened. Our services will resume their regular routes." 

Oxfordshire County Council subsequently confirmed the road had reopened on Tuesday afternoon but that the works would continue overnight.

A statement from the authority, issued around 2.30pm, said: "The closure on Stert Street in Abingdon has now been removed and the traffic has returned to normal.

"The road is expected to be closed again tonight at 11pm for the necessary works to be completed."

It comes as Neil Fawcett, Liberal Democrat county councillor for South Abingdon, asked officers to investigate the Thames Water work.

Mr Fawcett said in a public statement: "Chaos in Abingdon this morning as Thames Water roadworks on Stert Street overran the 5am end time. Massive disruption for residents and buses.

"I have asked Oxfordshire County Council officers to investigate and ensure that Thames Water stick to the agreed timings for the rest of the week."

Road signs in Abingdon state the Thames Water work has been scheduled from Monday to Friday this week between the hours of 11.30pm and 5am.