Anger over Pipers Row roadworks 'hell' in Wolverhampton
Drivers are going through 'hell' on a daily basis on a main city-centre route where long-running roadworks are causing delays, a senior councillor has said.
Commuters have been faced with nightmare delays on Pipers Row, Wolverhampton, while crawling just a few feet in half an hour during the worst periods.
Tailbacks build up from the junction with Bilston Street at rush hour and the problems have only been made worse since traffic lights were removed and give-way markings introduced.
To add to drivers' frustration, they won't see any workmen over the next few weeks as the project has shut down for Christmas.
The Midland Metro Alliance, which is overseeing the project, said it would start up again in the new year.
Drivers making little progress on Pipers Row have been left angered at seeing vehicles move past on Bilston Street, before queuing at the lights on the ring road and blocking the way for motorists to join Bilston Street from Pipers Row.
There are no keep clear or yellow grid markings, meaning vehicles coming from Pipers Row, including buses leaving the city's bus station, often cannot get out.
It has led to long afternoon tailbacks next to the Crown Court and bus station, where new Metro tracks have been laid over the last few months.
Motorists have had to negotiate various diversions in the city centre, with the layout of Pipers Row being altered and tracks put down as part of the multi-million Metro extension. The work is due to be completed in the spring.
Wolverhampton's opposition leader Wendy Thompson said the delays are a huge frustration for drivers.
She said: "It is really critical traffic moves smoothly. That part of Wolverhampton has really suffered.
"Staff in that area have gone through complete hell. To have such lengthy waits is unacceptable.
"I understand the traffic lights are monitored on screens and they should be tracking traffic and moving it on."
A spokeswoman at Wolverhampton Council said: “Every year the City of Wolverhampton has a Christmas embargo period which, during this time, only critical construction work can take place across the city.
“We recognise the frustrations traffic delays can cause, especially at this time of year with more visitors to our city centre.
“We are working to minimise disruption where possible to keep our city safe and moving as a key priority while these vital works are carried out by Midland Metro Alliance to improve our vibrant city centre.”