ROADWORKS at a major junction on the A127 have been branded a “complete and utter nightmare” by a furious councillor.

Cadent Gas has been carrying out assessment works on gas pipes at the Bell Junction and a temporary traffic lights have been put in place to manage traffic.

However, drivers and councillors have been left frustrated that the temporary lights – which will stay in place until Saturday morning – have caused traffic gridlock.

Cadent has now agreed that the temporary traffic lights will be manned from 7am to 7pm every day to ensure traffic flows smoothly following complaints.

Daniel Cowan, Labour councillor responsible for the St Laurence ward, has called for better planning around roadworks due to the issues.

Mr Cowan said: “It has been a complete and utter nightmare. Councillors were not made aware of these works in the normal way, so it was a complete surprise when we woke up to cones and gridlock, just the same as everyone else.

“I think anything that can be done to alleviate the traffic pressures is welcome and we understand that these works need to be done.

“But I think there is something to be said for a bit of broader, more strategic thinking of working together as this situation is worsened by roadworks on Sutton Road. So, we already have a lot of congestion coming from that area.

“What Cadent are proposing now, whilst we welcome, it is something that needs to be done from the start as we know any multi-way traffic controls will cause issues. So solutions should be put in from the beginning.”

A spokesman for Cadent added: “We understand that the four-way temporary traffic lights may have caused some delays, so we will now continue the work with a person managing the traffic lights from 7am-7pm, until we complete the work by the weekend. We hope this will help keep the traffic flowing better in the area.

“We are making every effort to complete the work by Friday evening, but the traffic management may not be off the road until Saturday morning.

“We would like to explain that once we reinstate the road tomorrow, we will need to leave the concrete to harden for 24 hours and in this case, people won’t necessarily see anyone on site until the road has set completely.”