FRUSTRATED drivers have hit out at travel ‘chaos’ after council contractors left temporary traffic lights in place.
Commuters say it took more than an hour to travel a mile across Warwick this morning after all routes through the town came to a near standstill.
Electricity operator Western Power was given permission by Warwickshire County Council to leave traffic lights in place on Banbury Road so work could continue over the weekend.
But the lights – which were due to be removed on Sunday – were left into Monday morning.
Roadworks are also in place at Northgate Island which local resident Sue Wallbank says made the issues even worse.
She told the Observer: “There were massive traffic jams on all routes leading through the centre. I think police officers should have been put on traffic control duty to bring some order to the flow.
“Traffic in Warwick is, and has always been, dire first thing in the morning when people are going to work and children to school.
“Something needs to be done to alleviate the problem but because Warwick is constrained by history and geography, conventional solutions are limited.”
A Warwickshire County Council spokeswoman said: “Western Power were given permission to work over the weekend to continue ongoing works on the Banbury Road.
“Traffic lights were set up to assist these works which unfortunately were left in place. Western Power have apologised for the inconvenience this caused.”
Work is currently underway to ease congestion through the town centre by keeping traffic moving at the Northgate junction.
Traffic management changes will include a right turn only into Northgate Street from Barrack Street, and no right turn into Northgate Street for vehicles travelling on the A425 from from Saltisford.
County highway chiefs also plan to make changes in future which will see The Butts made one-way to traffic. They also want to tackle the bottleneck next to the Punch Bowl pub – which is not wide enough for two vehicles to pass.
But Ms Wallbank says the changes to the town would still not go far enough.
She added: “I doubt very much the proposed one-way system through the centre of the town – if it ever materialises – will make a great deal of difference to traffic flow.
“Warwick needs to look at the viability of radical solutions employed elsewhere.”