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Traffic light trouble at A449 roadworks causes chaos for commuters

By Luke Bartlett | Dudley | Transport | Published:

Motorists faced the morning from hell as roadworks saw rush-hour delays of up to an hour on a busy commuter route.

Drivers queue along the A449

Drivers were left confused and upset as they queued along the Stourbridge Road, on the A449, near Wombourne.

Long delays were reported at around 7.30am and continued throughout the morning after faulty traffic lights, which were stuck on red, wreaked havoc.

Staffordshire County Council confirmed that a problem with two-way temporary lights were the cause of extra delays and said it had reported the issue - although the council was not responsible for the lights or the works.

Passing a set of temporary traffic lights

Morning commuters were left queuing and crawling along the popular stretch as far back as the traffic lights near to The Dudley Arms pub and Himley House.

Drivers performed U-turns in the middle of the packed road in an attempt to avoid the gridlock.

The works, being carried by Wolverhampton Tree Services outside of Dunedin House, were confirmed as having finished at around midday today.

The company was cutting back trees on a private property that were deemed to be dangerously over-hanging.

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Routes near the A449 were also busy as drivers sought to avoid the delays

Keith Turner, the manager of Wolverhampton Tree Service, said: “Works were done by midday. They were scheduled to start by 9.30am. It was the cutting back of the trees for safety reasons.

“It was a private individual from a residential property.

“We needed a lane closure to carry out the work.”

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It is believed the issues could have been the result of a contracted traffic management company leaving the lights operating overnight, ahead of the scheduled 9.30am start.

A 46-year-old from Stourbridge, who was caught up in the traffic but did not wish to be named, faced an hour-long delay.

They said: “I could not believe the queues, especially just after a bank holiday and with no school traffic on the roads.

"My route normally takes half an hour in the school holidays but it took me around an hour and a half to get to work.

“The works were causing absolute chaos, so many drivers were getting stuck and in the end I had to turn around and take another route into work.

“I was not the only one and lots of other drivers were turning around.”

Staffordshire County Council’s roads and highways department confirmed a fault with the temporary lights, where motorists were faced with a permanent red light, had been reported and was dealt with yesterday afternoon.

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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