The two week closure of the A381 at Halwell is set to cause traffic chaos between Kingsbridge, Dartmouth and Totnes, it is feared.

Devon County Council is closing a section of the busy main road at the point down from the village church at Halwell from Tuesday May 9 until Tuesday May 23 to carry out urgent repairs.

The official diversion will re-route drivers from Kingsbridge through to Sorley Cross, onto Loddiswell, along the A3121 to the A38 turn off at Wrangaton, then onto the A385 South Brent turning to Dartington and Totnes – and vice versa.

According to Google Maps this will add an extra 10 minutes onto the journey time as the route is some four miles longer than the Halwell route.

It is expected that drivers with local knowledge will use other, less well known routes through narrow lanes and villages.

One commuter wrote on Facebook warned it is going to be “Gridlock through the lanes.”

The hugely popular Dart Music Festival, which attracts thousands to Dartmouth over the three day event, takes place slap bang in the middle of the disruption.

The festival announced the road closure on its Facebook site, saying the diversion is expected to double the journey time for anyone coming to the town for the event, and urged music-lovers to “be prepared.”

The organisers added: “Whilst this is not great timing the road must be fixed and we really hope DCC manage to do this as soon as possible for local traffic, emergency services, deliveries and businesses, and before the festival weekend.”

The 24/7 road closure is due to problems with the culvert which crosses the road at Halwell and is linked to the drainage system.

Temporary traffic lights have been in place on the northbound side of the A381 for a few weeks now but Devon County Council says recent frequent heavy rainfall has made the situation worse.

The rain has resulted in the road surface crumbling and a dip in the road to appear in that area.

In a letter to nearby residents, the council said: “This has now reached the point that the road through Halwell will have to be closed for this culvert to be inspected fully and to be replaced and the road surface reinstated.”

The council also advises that should the weather continue to be adverse, the road may have to be closed for safety reasons at very short notice.