Angry motorists caught up in long traffic jams caused by new traffic lights on the A1/A47 junction at Wansford have hit out at the new works.
Drivers have had to add on more than half an hour to their journeys because of the new lights, which were installed on Monday.
A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said the new ‘intelligent traffic lights’ were still gathering data about vehicle flow, and said delays should be reduced within a few weeks.
Dr Katharine McDevitt, a consultant paediatrician at Peterborough City Hospital said: “This is a road I use every day. It is having major consequences as my children are in nursery/school at Wittering and I need to be there by 6pm. Previously I could leave the hospital at 5.30 and be there in time, now I need to leave at 5pm and it can take nearly the full hour. Already in the morning I choose (usually) to go from Tinwell to the hospital via Barnack/Ufford and Marholm and now need to take that route to get back as well. This, however, means crossing the A1N at Wittering during the peak hours and this can be unsafe/time-consuming too. The other diversion taken by drivers is to go through Castor and Ailsworth. All this extra traffic through small villages is obviously unwanted by the villagers and dangerous for village children. Even before the lights the hold up at the Castor roundabout was significant and cars by-pass the queue on the left hand lane (as the right is right turn only) by going right round the roundabout and then queuing on the roundabout waiting to get into the single carriageway stretch.”
Amanda White, from Wittering, said: “As a resident of Wittering working in Peterborough I use the A47 everyday, usually returning home around 4.15-4.30pm.
“Last Friday evening when the lights were first working, it took me 25 minutes to get from the end of the dual carriageway to the A1 northbound slip road. The A1 was clear.
Previously I could leave the hospital at 5.30 and be there in time, now I need to leave at 5pm and it can take nearly the full hourDr Katharine McDevitt
“Each evening so far this week the same journey has taken me approximately 15 minutes. The only previous delays usually occur on Fridays but not to this extent, or if there had been accidents on the A1.”
Jay Allsop, from Wittering added: “I remember the Castor Bypass opening and ironically I’m now choosing to drive through Castor (and Ailsworth) as it’s quicker. Since yesterday, I am also now taking an additional short detour through Sutton and joining the A47 a little closer to Wansford as this is saving time for me too. I’ve even considered travelling through Marholm, Bainton and Barnack and joining the A1 south just below Carpenter’s Lodge but then turning right across the northbound carriageway to get into Wittering is impossible anyway at that time of day.”
A Highways England spokesperson said: “We have worked hard to get the new A1/A47 Wansford roundabout layout open to traffic as soon as possible.
“The traffic signals are an intelligent traffic light system and will take a few weeks to calibrate and validate traffic flow data and adjust.
“The new signals were switched on last Friday (24 April) and we will continue to monitor to check the traffic signals are working with the flows of traffic.
“Drivers should notice a difference to their journeys but some are still adjusting to the new road layout.”