GAS mains replacement work in Shipley has caused major tailbacks and left drivers fuming at slow traffic lights, say Baildon residents.

The work started on Otley Road on July 21 and was set to last 11 weeks - but those living nearby have already had enough.

"It's been awful trying to get down into Shipley - traders there must have lost a lot of business," said Colin Jackson of Long Royd Drive.

"On Saturday it took 15 minutes from the flat section of Baildon Road to just get to the traffic lights," said the retired building society executive.

"The problem has been that the traffic lights controlling the traffic into Shipley, which is down to one lane because of the roadworks, have been giving too much time to traffic coming in from Dockfield Lane where most of the gas works are taking place," added, Mr Jackson, 71.

"But then the lights are not altered at evenings or at weekends when very few vehicles use the lane as it's not a residential area.

"So queues build up as drivers on Otley Road wait longer than they need to," he said.

A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks said the traffic lights were not under its control and explained the major gas supply improvement project involves replacing elderly iron work with new plastic piping.

Baildon Ward councillor Debbie Davies (Con) said she had been bombarded with calls from people furious at the length of delays.

"And while everyone accepts this work has to be done, there is just a blunt sign telling drivers to seek an alternative route - and there simply isn't one," she said.

"There are also road works taking place over at Apperley Bridge and commuters who use that route are coming over to join the Otley Road queues which has caused gridlock."

However Marian Taylor, a Baildon town councillor, said she had independently discovered some encouraging news.

"I went and spoke to the site manager on Otley Road who told me that work had gone very well and in terms of closing the trenches which have cut the road to single lane, they are hopefully a week ahead of schedule," she said.

A Council highways spokesman said: "We sympathise with people's frustration with these two sets of roadworks, but they are both essential works and unfortunately fall on busy sections of road.

"We are working with Northern Gas Networks on the Baildon scheme to ensure that the work is completed as quickly as possible."