Linlithgow business owners were left angered by the lack of notice over temporary traffic lights on the High Street.
Scottish Water had to carry out urgent work on a burst water main at the Cross last Thursday and temporary traffic lights were needed.
Work began on Thursday at 9.30am and the lights and barriers were removed by 5am on Saturday.
A Scottish Water spokesman said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience and assure them everything possible was done to ensure this unforeseen issue was dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
The work resulted in long queues and it took up to 30 minutes to drive from one end of the town to the other.
Jim Walker of Walkers Carpets and a member of the Linlithgow Town Centre BID, was angered by the lack of notice regarding the temporary lights and road works.
He said: “People are unaware of how damaging this can be to small businesses as we can lose out on trade. “If we know in advance that traffic will be bad we can rearrange delivers and be prepared for the roadworks.”
Jim accepts work needs to be done but said BID group members had been assured they would be given plenty of notice when work is being carried out on the High Street.
A council spokesman said: “For clarity Scottish Water does not need the council’s permission for emergency works. West Lothian Council can only give notice of its own works not those of other public sector bodies or private businesses such as BT.”