Western Power is carrying out works on the gateway road to Kirkby town centre, causing huge tailbacks for drivers.
Now, Kingsway councillor Dale Grounds and Ashfield council leader Jason Zadrozny have written an urgent letter to highways bosses in Nottinghamshire, calling for alternative systems to be put in place to end the gridlock and rat-running.
Coun Grounds, vice chairman of Ashfield District Council, called the situation a “danger to life”.
He said: “Residents have inundated us with complaints about the dangers that this work is causing.
“It has led to chaos with gridlock and dangerous rat-running on nearby roads.
“This is just not just causing huge delays – the rat running is a serious danger to life.
“The misery is planned to continue for another six weeks and we need to look at alternative plans urgently.”
Residents on Bourne Avenue, Beulah Road, Oxford Street, Forest Street, Roseberry Street and others have complained about an increase in rat running, with drivers desperate to avoid the chaos.
The councillors are planning to recommend a two-way, traffic-lighted system to solve the problem.
Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “With Kingsway Primary School and Kirkby College being nearby – the work by Western Power is causing real issues.
“Residents are worried that the chaos could lead to an a serious accident.
“This is not just a temporary measure – it’s set to go on for six weeks.
“We have demanded that transport bosses come down to Kirkby to see for themselves the issues this is causing.
“They could have picked up the phone to local councillors and we would told them about the chaos this would cause.
“I appreciate that work needs to be done – we’re not questioning this. What we need is for transport bosses to revisit their plans urgently.”
Councillor Neil Clarke, Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said the traffic management will at least be removed for the jubilee bank holiday.
He said: “We can understand the frustration of residents and road users in Kirkby-in-Ashfield at the delays caused by works being undertaken by Western Power.
“This is an essential reinforcement scheme installing new high-voltage cables to ensure local homes and businesses continue to have a reliable and safe connection to the electricity grid.
“Whenever works of this scale take place in a busy town centre such as Kirkby, disruption is inevitable.
“Our co-ordination team needs to allow these types of works to take place and do all they can to minimise impacts on road users, including ensuring that no other planned works take place on the surrounding roads for the duration of the scheme.
“Residents will be pleased to hear the traffic management is being removed for the jubilee bank holiday weekend and we’re working together with Western Power to find the best and clearest solution for road users when the works recommence next week.”