Broken traffic lights at the Posthouse Roundabout caused chaos in Chester yesterday evening – and to make matters worse the repair work was delayed because the engineer was stuck in the jams.
The Highways Agency has apologised to motorists, some of whom were stuck in lengthy queues for up to two hours, after the temporary signals got stuck on red at around 4.30pm.
The fault, which affected the temporary traffic lights at the A483 junction with the B5445 Wrexham Road causing tailbacks for several miles, was finally resolved after 9pm.
Commuter Alison Round from Flint, who was stuck in the jams for more than an hour, questioned why no one was on hand to fix the problem earlier.
She said: “My friend took two hours to get home to Hoole Road in Chester. It took me one hour 45 mins to get home to Flint.
“After an hour I was by The King's School (on Wrexham Road) and I work in the M&S Bank building so it was ridiculous. Us mortals didn’t have a clue what was going on.”
Claire Louise from Wrexham tweeted: “Two hours 25mins to get home from Chester. Guys were manually working the lights as we come through.”
Peter Coxhead also posted: “Appalled at lack of action at A55/A483 junction. Lights stuck on red for hours. Queues of 7 miles.”
Cheshire police issued a tweet urging motorists to avoid the area after they were alerted to the problems.
A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said today: “We sent an engineer to repair the temporary traffic lights at the A483 junction with the B5445 Wrexham Road as soon as we became aware of the issue on Wednesday evening, but he was caught up in the congestion and took longer than expected to reach the site.
“We would like to apologise to drivers who were affected by the fault.
“The lights, which are checked regularly, are now working properly again. We are looking to replace this complex, temporary traffic light system with a permanent one over the next few weeks and will keep road users informed.”
The £5.3m scheme to improve the Posthouse Roundabout junction has caused chaos on the A483, the A55, and other main roads nearby, as frustrated drivers try to find alternative routes.
Concerns over major traffic jams being caused on roads like the A483 and A55 across North Wales has even led to a hotline being set up by the Welsh Government for Assembly Members to report problems.
Last month Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, who has campaigned for the A483 to be improved at the Posthouse Roundabout, fears the current delays are damaging businesses and livelihoods in North East Wales.