A LARGE area of Scarborough was brought to a standstill yesterday as one of main routes in to the town closed.
Seamer Road was blocked to motorists and pedestrians from 12.50pm into the night as emergency repairs were carried out to fix a gas leak.
The closure, between Valley Road and Queen Margarets Road junctions, caused chaos.
Residents were evacuated and motorists and bus routes were diverted throughout the afternoon.
Pupils at two schools within the cordon had to transported by minibus at home time as parents were not allowed in to the area to pick them up.
Rob Waller, acting headteacher at Hinderwell School, which was affected as well as Springhead School, said: “Mini buses were arranged to take the children from school to the edge of the cordon where they were met by their parents.
“What surprised me was there were two primary schools in the middle of the cordon, and it was down to us to make the inquiries as to what was going to happen. There were no instructions from Northern Gas or the police.”
Businesses were also badly affected with many losing out on an afternoon’s trade.
James Rodgers, the dealer principal at Marshall Honda in Seamer Road, said: “No one told us what had happened, it was seen on Twitter. We’ve got customers that can’t take their cars home.”
He said that the workshop was full of cars and one customer had contacted him to say she was trying to get the courtesy car back to them but she was stuck at B&Q. “I understand this is happening, it’s a fact of life, but some information would be nice.”
Richard Blair, a director and general manager at Arundale Peugeot in Seamer Road, said “We have been affected on all fronts. We’ve not got people through the showroom or the workshop. We are trying to contact customers to tell them the situation.”
Equally staff at Boro Tyres in Seamer Road were unable to work as customers could not drop off their cars.
A spokesman for Currys and PC World said: “We have been massively affected by it.
“We haven’t been informed what’s been happening by anybody. I know there has been a major gas leak and if we were in danger they would evacuate us.”
MKM Builders not only saw a drop in trade, estimated to cost £7,000, but could not bring their wagons back in to be stocked up.
Traffic flow on diversion routes was hindered further when a blue Peugeot crashed in to the traffic lights at the junction with Queen Margarets Road at 4.45pm.
Northern Gas Networks said it hoped to have the road open before rush hour traffic today, but that it was dependant on the completion of a full repair.