WORK to repair a water leak on a busy main road is set to finally begin after a reported five week delay.

Traders have been shocked that water has been gushing from next to the pavement in Leyton High Road, near Leyton Bus Garage, since before Christmas without any action being taken.

Thames Water has apologised for the inconvenience and said it has been waiting for permission from Waltham Forest Council to dig up the road.

Julia Glowacka, owner of Gladiator Restaurant, which is next to the leak, said: "I am shocked that the authorities could just leave it for so long.

"It looks like clean drinking water - it has been such a waste for it all to flow away like that.

"I called Thames Water and the council many times. The council said it wasn't their responsibility and Thames Water said I should talk to the council.

"It's like no-one cared."

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: "There is a leaking pipe underneath Leyton High Road which we have had to apply for a permit to repair.

"This is because it is such a busy road, so in order to get the job done safely, we will need to put traffic restrictions in place and therefore need the permission of the highway authority [Waltham Forest Council].

"They have given us a permit to do this work on Thursday January 10 and we will be getting it completed as quickly as we can.

"We'd like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is essential we get leaks repaired as soon as possible."