The county council says it did not expect the level of disruption that two sets of roadworks caused in Watford this week.

Hertfordshire County Council and Affinity Water both agreed to cancel the work in Rickmansworth Road after just one day after numerous streets in and around the town were brought to a halt.

The council had granted the water company permits to carry out work in both Rickmansworth Road and Whippendell Road at the same time, lasting for at least seven weeks.

But after huge traffic jams formed on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, the council admitted that the traffic delays "exceeded expectations".

Watford Observer:

Traffic leaving Whippendell Road and the business parks on Monday evening

Watford Observer:

Drivers queue to leave Croxley Park and Watford Business Park on Monday evening

A council spokesperson said: "Our primary aim is to ensure minimal disruption to the travelling public wherever possible. As a result of this, we alongside Affinity Water, have agreed to cancel the planned works on the A412 Rickmansworth Road.

"As with most roadworks, some level of disruption is expected and we are fully aware that a high volume of traffic utilises these routes and that delays would likely increase. Which is why advanced communication was put in place to encourage road users to utilise alternative routes and transport.

"Unfortunately the traffic delays exceeded our expectations, which were also hindered by other activities on the network."

The council also previously said the work in both roads was bunched together due to the outstanding schemes Affinity Water had to undertake before the summer holidays.

Watford Observer:

Queues in Whippendell Road

Affinity Water were carrying out lead replacement programmes in both Rickmansworth Road and Whippendell Road, yards apart, which involves pipes being replaced.

The work required temporary traffic lights.

An Affinity Water spokesperson said: "We are very sorry for the level of traffic disruption caused by our work in Rickmansworth Road and Whippendell Road earlier this week.

"The pipes that are being replaced can be up to 100 years old and connect properties to the water mains network. The new durable, polymer pipes have a life span of decades and will ensure Watford residents will continue to have a high-quality and reliable supply of water for many years to come.

"We have been working closely with Hertfordshire County Council since spring 2018 to plan the second phase of our programme, which has been successfully completed in around 100 streets with over 16,500 communications pipes being checked for lead."

Rickmansworth Road was fully opened by 4pm on Tuesday.

Watford Observer:

Rickmansworth Road pictured yesterday, shortly before the road was reopened.

The programme in Whippendell Road continues as planned, ending February 28, but the work in Rickmansworth Road has been cancelled until further notice, and no new date has been agreed.

Affinity Water will be carrying out lead replacement programmes in several other streets in Watford between now and June, including Hagden Lane, Gammons Lane and Langley Road.

For a full list of streets and dates, click here.