An unauthorised lane closure near another set of roadworks is believed to have led to gridlock in Chester during Wednesday’s (September 20) evening rush hour.
Cheshire Police advised motorists to avoid the city because the snarl up was so bad.
Traffic monitors showed ‘red’, with serious congestion on the inner ring and all major routes serving Chester.
Police later tweeted that they would be asking the highways department at Cheshire West and Chester Council to review what went wrong.
In response to an enquiry from The Chronicle, Councillor Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “Wednesday’s congestion was caused primarily by two incidents. Firstly, resurfacing works on Upper Northgate Street required a lane closure on the Fountains roundabout to allow traffic to move safely. This work was planned and diversion routes were in place.
“Secondly, a lane closure was in also in operation on Hoole Way roundabout outside the bus interchange. This lane closure was not authorised and the workmen had been asked to move earlier in the day. Unfortunately this didn’t happen until around 2.45pm and by that time resurfacing operations were already underway in Upper Northgate Street.
“As a result the escape route from Gorse Stacks was down to one lane, which caused traffic to back up through to Fountains roundabout quickly causing large queues.”