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Transport boss vows Itchen Bridge traffic chaos 'won't happen again'
SOUTHAMPTON’S transport boss is confident that the traffic chaos endured by motorists using the Itchen Bridge on Monday morning will not be repeated.
Roadworks to create a new cyclist-friendly roundabout junction between Itchen Bridge and Central Bridge started on Saturday.
But hundreds of motorists became stuck in queues that stretched back as far as Old Netley, delaying drivers by up to two hours.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, the city council’s Cabinet member for transport, put Monday’s issues down to a “perfect storm” of issues, and said she was confident that delays would not be as bad again.
The work at the roundabout, which has seen temporary traffic lights installed, will take 15 weeks, while maintenance work on Central Bridge will see disruption to motorists until next May.
The council was inundated with complaints on Monday, but although motorists still endured delays on Tuesday and yesterday, traffic flow had improved.
On Monday the city council and contractor Balfour Beatty apologised for the disruption, saying it was due to a number of issues, including other roadworks, heavy rain and accidents both in the city and on the M27.
Cllr Rayment said: “It shouldn’t be as bad as Monday again.
“On Monday there were a number of things that were outside of our control, such as the inclement weather, accidents and the fact that it was the first business day on which the roadworks were operated.
“We made a number of changes on Monday evening, which improved things, although not as much as we had hoped, and after Tuesday we implemented more changes, such as leafleting, better signage and changing the traffic light sequences, and I am told that delays were reduced quite dramatically on Wednesday. We are managing the situation and I would hope that delays like those experienced on Monday won’t happen again.”
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