CONTROVERSIAL traffic lights in the heart of South Shields town centre left bank holiday visitors to the seafront seeing red.
Drivers said they again faced delays caused by the lights at the junction of Ocean Road and Anderson Street.
The lights have attracted fierce criticism since they were installed last month – including the signing of a 500-strong protest petition – with council bosses launching a review of the lights, and admitting how they affected traffic over the bank holiday weekend would be pivotal to that.
Yesterday, visitors to the seafront were quick to have their say.
Karen Reid, who had driven across from North Shields for the day, said: “We have sat in traffic for more than 15 minutes to get from Marine Park to here (the junction of Ocean Road and Anderson Street). We have been here a few times and we have never seen it like this before.
“I know it’s the bank holiday weekend, and there’s more people out, but this is really bad.
“I don’t think the lights are on long enough either for people to get through.”
Another visitor to the town, Steven Crawford, of Bensham, Gateshead, was also unimpressed with the traffic lights.
He said: “We have been stuck in traffic for quite a while. It just seems the lights are on red far too long. It’s quite bad.”
David Healey, from South Shields said he still couldn’t understand why the original roundabout layout was replaced.
He said: “We have been stuck in the traffic for ages.
“They should have just left things the way they were with the roundabout.
“It’s a lot worse than it normally is on a Bank Holiday weekend.
“I just don’t know what was going through the mind of the person who decided on this – it’s a shambles.”
Marie Ibbitson, who works at Little Gems in Ocean Road, said: “It was a lot better when the roundabout was there. There was a steady flow of traffic, and now it just stands still.
“Every day there is a queue of traffic, but with it being the bank holiday it’s even worse.
“I have seen a couple of near-misses since the traffic lights were installed.”