MONDAY'S record June downpour combined with the first day of a two-month diversion on the A49 near Leominster brought traffic chaos to some parts of north Herefordshire.

Well-publicised plans by the Highways Agency to close 2.3 km of the northbound carriageway of the trunk road at Berrington Hall for major works were disrupted by the severe weather.

A temporary total closure of the section became necessary, forcing all traffic on to other roads, some of which were flooded. Some lorries were allowed on a diversion route earmarked for non-HGV traffic only.

"Everything went out of kilter because of the severe conditions," said Collette Keane, of the Highways Agency.

Drivers hit flooding trouble spots along the B4361 at Ladymeadow Farm, near Luston, and at Orleton.

Villagers blocked the doors of their homes with sandbags as a torrent of water poured into notoriously flood-prone Orleton.

Water was also reported gushing inside buses and around the feet of passengers and several services were hit by delays.

By Tuesday, the diversion on the A49 at Berrington Hall had resumed and the reduced traffic flow came as a welcome break for long-suffering Ashton residents on the busy trunk road.

But over in Leintwardine, anger remains at the A49 traffic diversion, which will be sending lorries through the border village up until August.

Protestor Joyce Brand said villagers were monitoring the effects of the diversion and were planning to meet today (Thursday) to discuss action.