Council chiefs have pleaded with drivers to be patient as a new set of roadworks put pressure on a £7.5million road scheme.
Motorists have been hit with severe delays at the Lindisfarne Roundabout this week, just days after work designed to end congestion and hold ups there had been completed.
South Tyneside Council says the problems are being caused by resurfacing work on the A185 Tyne Tunnel approach - Jarrow Road - with drivers being diverted towards the Lindisfarne roundabout.
The A185 maintenance is expected to take two weeks, with the road closed on weekdays - putting extra strain on the Lindisfarne roundabout - a long-standing traffic hotspot in and out of South Shields.
Councillor Allan West, lead member for housing and transport at South Tyneside Council, said: “We appreciate that the closure of the A185 is having an impact on traffic volume and causing delays along the diversion route at Lindisfarne.
“This closure is temporary but essential to enable resurfacing works to take place. The works on the A185 were programmed to coincide with both school holidays and Nissan shutdown in order to mitigate delays.
It was chaos – could they not keep the A185 open at peak times?Motorist
“We would ask motorists for their patience for the next couple of weeks while the works to the A185 are completed. Once these are finished motorists will see the benefits of the improvements.
“We are pleased that the Lindisfarne project has been completed on schedule and budget. As with any major road improvement scheme, the performance of the signals will be monitored to ensure motorists have as smooth a journey as possible with minimal delays.”
Yesterday, hundreds of drivers were hit by delays of up to half an hour, as traffic backed up as far as the Arches junction near Tyne Dock.
One motorist, who did not with to be named, said: “I hit traffic before passing Simonside Metro station, and it took me about 30 minutes to get to the Lindisfarne roundabout.”