MOTORISTS can expect delays and congestion in Ossett town centre for the next three months after roadworks started on Monday.
A temporary one-way system has been introduced on Dale Street, from the junction of Prospect Road to the Kingsway roundabout, while gas pipes are replaced.
Councillors and road safety campaigners have urged motorists not to violate the system.
There were several reports of drivers seen going the wrong way along Dale Street when similar measures were introduced during the first phase of the work last summer.
Oncoming traffic was being forced onto the pavement as drivers took risks to try and beat the one-way system.
Coun Ian Bunney said: “All the signs are up so we’ll justh have to hope motorists do not try going the other way.
“Last time the police had to keep an eye on it.”
Insp Jo Mercer, of the northwest neighbourhood police team (NPT), said the matter had been made a priority this week.
She said: “We will be paying extra attention to the area until the work is complete. Any offences will be dealt with robustly.”
Northern Gas said the £270,000 project, which started last year, would introduce piping with a lifespan of 80 years.
Northern Gas Networks’ John Pickering said: “The current gas mains on Dale Street and surrounding roads have reached the end of their useful life.
“The new pipes are more durable, and will serve the community for decades to come.
“We’ve been working closely with Wakefield Council’s highways department to plan the work, and have timed it to coincide with the school holidays, when traffic flows are reduced.
“We’d like to thank motorists for their patience, while we carry out this essential work.”
Engineers from Balfour Beatty will be working on Dale Street, Prospect Road, Gunson Crescent, Union Street and Queen Street, during this phase of work.
Traffic approaching Dale Street from Kingsway will be diverted.
The scheme is part of a £91.5m investment programme to replace ageing gas mains across the north of the country during the next financial year.