MOTORISTS are facing lengthy delays to get through roadworks on a main road in and out of Carlisle.

Drivers say the work to replace pipes on Warwick Road is a headache - especially now that the junction with Greystone Road has been shut.

Residents and businesses were informed of United Utilities plans earlier this year when the firm held information sessions and wrote to residents.

But a few months into the work - which is expected to last for up to a year - and lengthy delays are now being reported.

Motorist Laura Tweeddale said: “It took me 30 minutes just to get from Carlisle College to St Aidan’s Road.”

Beverley Thomsonn said: “It took me 45 minutes to get from Brampton to Carlisle bus station. It’s normally 20 minutes.”

And the problem is also affecting local businesses.

Jacob Kent, an IT administrator at the Warwick Road Bed Centre, said: “The traffic has been bad and there is certainly a backlog.

“One of the problems for us is a lot of cars use our entrance as a turning point to get into Victoria Road.

“This means that our own vehicles struggle to get into the car park.

“We’ve also noticed it’s taking longer for our drivers to get back after a delivery. This work is supposed to go on for a year so there’s no end in sight.”

Carlisle United, which is playing a home tie against Lincoln City on Friday, says has been liaising closely with the United Utilities Engineering Department and the local police to make traffic access to Brunton Park as easy as possible on match days, while acknowledging that the vital work has to continue.

A club spokesman said: “We can confirm that the supporters’ car park will be open as normal on Friday, for the visit of Lincoln City, and Carlisle Rugby Club have also kindly offered their parking area for use by fans on Friday.

“The police will be assisting with a traffic management plan to help with entry to and from the car parks - before kick off and after full time - and we have been advised that local disc zone areas are also available for car parking. Please consider residents if you choose to use this option.

“Please allow time on Friday to get to the stadium. Delays are expected on what is a busier than normal day, as vehicles use Warwick Road both for access to the game and to the city centre.

The huge pipes - which supply most of Carlisle’s drinking water - are being revamped for the first time in nearly 100 years.

The work is the latest and most substantial part of a £14m scheme to clean and refurbish more than 30km of pipes in the city.

United Utilities’ third party co-ordinator, Paul Wheadon, said the work was essential to improve the water supplies for tens of thousands of customers.