Drivers slam ‘disgraceful’ Banknock road chaos

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Drivers snagged in a snowbound diversion around Banknock yesterday took to social media to vent their anger at “chaotic organisation”.

But Scottish Water had stressed the work was urgent.

One account says sewage was leaking from the broken pipe into a nearby house.

Contractors Kier had already begun work on Saturday, meaning the diversion could not have been suddenly cancelled when the weather closed in on Sunday.

The affected section of the A803 Kilsyth Road in Banknock was closed from 8am on Saturday, but conditions sharply deteriorated yesterday afternoon.

Pictures and videos taken by motorists show hazardous attempts to negotiate side roads many agreed were downright dangerous.

Team effort helped some drivers free their stalled vehicles, but some motorists say the chaos should never have been allowed to happen.

Myra Robbie wrote: “Unfortunately it had to be done as it was a blocked sewer leaking sewage into a house on Kilsyth Road.

“However the organisation of it is an absolute disgrace”.

On Sunday, driver Elizabeth Faulds commented: “Just came up this hill - it’s a disgrace and so is the main road”.

Others offered real-time advice as drivers struggled to free their stuck or slithering cars, with Alan Bryson senior advising: “Tell them to reverse up, works every time”.

James Turnbull went on social media to say: “Just freed a wee girl who skidded her car’s front left side wheel into the hole with the exposed gas pipe at the top of holland bush. well done guys. She could have blown herself and our street up. Very lucky”.

Norman McNeill commented a “great team effort” of people involved in more than two hours of clearing, pushing, directing and lifting the car out of the “open gas hole”.

Later Andrew Hendry said he hadn’t expected to see a Facebook video of him pushing cars - but added “it’s all gritted now”.

He and Norman were singled out for special thanks for “working out there a long time to keep traffic moving”, but he replied it was “either that or watch cars just sitting outside my window”.

Others said gritters should have been on the scene more quickly, with one claiming those responsible were “just waiting for a disaster to happen”.

A spokesman for Scottish Water said: “Scottish Water contractors Kier were carrying out essential repairs to a collapsed sewer on a short section of the A803 Kilsyth road in Banknock at the weekend.

“A diversion was put in place in full consultation with the local council, as a road closure was required to carry out the work.

“The road is now reopen with two-way traffic lights, and will fully reopen tomorrow morning.”