Mayhem is predicted in the streets of Weybridge when Seven Hills Road shuts for essential gas main replacement.

The road is the main route to connect the town with Cobham, the A3 and the M25, but is set to completely close for up to seven months, starting in December at the earliest.

Only pedestrians, residents and emergency vehicles will be granted access and temporary lane closure with traffic lights has been ruled out.

Weybridge resident Joel Griffiths, who often uses the road, said: “The traffic is a nightmare around there already. What a joke. How am I going to get to work on time? It is going to be awful.”

An employee from Country Homes and Gardens, which is based in the road, said a lawyer was currently looking options, as closure will greatly affect business, despite the promise to allow customers to use it.

The staff member said: “We only found out about it a week or so ago from reading it in the paper and we’ve been making inquiries.

“As soon as we get out of the recession, they hit us with this. It will hit us hard.”

Councillor John Bartlett said compensation should be offered.

He also admitted he was angry there had not been a wider public consultation and that he only found out about the plans last week.

He said: “This is going to cause absolute chaos, it won’t just bring Weybridge to a halt but everywhere right up to Esher.

“I think it’s astonishing that we’ve been forced into this and people need to know about it. I was told they would be working from 7am until 7pm, why not 24 hours if they are going to cause this much destruction?

“One month would be hard to stomach but seven months is going to be absolutely disastrous.”

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “The Southern Gas scheme in Seven Hills Road will not be starting until late December/early January and we are still finalising details of the closure and diversion routes. We have therefore not been in a position to put out any firm information.

“The utility companies have the right to work on the highway. We work closely with them and other parties to minimise the impact as much as possible.

"Once arrangements are confirmed both we and Southern Gas will be publicising the details over a wide area and making every effort to keep residents well informed.”

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