A BURST water main on the road between Teignmouth and Dawlish caused chaos last night.

Buses had to be diverted and police closed the A379 between John Nash Driver and Fordens Lane, Holcombe after water gushed into the deep dip at Smugglers Inn.

Drivers diverted to take back lanes but this caused huge backlogs.

Police were quickly on the scene but reports came in that engineers from South West Water would take between two and three hours to arrive.

The burst main was first reported yesterday lunchtime.

The A379, which had been closed in both directions, was reopened again by 9pm last night.

Back lanes being used as an alternative route from Teignmouth to Dawlish were reported to be gridlocked and described as ‘chaotic’.

The diversions were further held up when a vehicle was said to have broken down on Break Neck Hill at Teignmouth.

The leak was said to be in Forden’s Lane with water diverting along the main road by the Smugglers Inn and down Smugglers Lane.

Buses had to divert by going onto the A38, along the Exminster and back into Dawlish with passengers reporting it journeys were taking up to an hour and a half.