Frustrated neighbours have said that a swift route through Caversham will turn into an hour-long journey as Thames Water ready themselves to repair the sewer which collapsed on Church Road.

On Friday, May 26 Thames Water were called to Caversham town centre after they were alerted to the burst pipe.

Following investigations, it was found that due to the location and severity of the repair, the entire area would have to be closed off for two weeks starting on Monday, June 5.

Reacting to the news, local shop owners and residents have expressed their frustration at the diversions which are set to take place.

The owner of Nood Stores, Claire Anderton-Bell, who also lives within walking distance from the shop said: “It’s very worrying that the road works are happening especially at this time of year.

"I hope the roadwork doesn’t impact us all too much, but it’s essential.

“In the end, I think if people are looking to get to Caversham, they will choose to walk."

The worst impacted when it comes to the road disruptions, however, are expected to be people who live outside the immediate area and need to travel to work every morning.

Bailey Smith, 21, commutes from Whitley everyday to her Mum’s store, Nathan’s Nibbles. Normally a 18 minute drive, it is expected to take up to an hour.

She said: “Because you have to go through Caversham to get anywhere, the traffic is normally always busy, but this is going to make it so much worse.

“There are people who work here that come from Sonning direction and they are going to have drive to Reading and get the bus to Caversham because the journey will just be impossible.

“Our only hope is that it remains hot so that everyone won’t mind walking into Caversham. However for school children and people who commute, it will mean being late no matter how early they leave.”

The road closure and diversions are expected to start on June 5 after Thames Water applies for the permit to undertakes works. They will continue for 14 days.

Thames Water commented: "We'd like to apologise to local people for any disruption caused by the road diversion and tankers in the area. The tankers are in place to ensure residents can continue to flush their loos and to protect them from flooding.

“We have delivered letters to residents in the area to make them aware of the repair work and the road diversions.”