Motorists’ fury at Burnley traffic gridlock

Rob Stuart's photo of traffic chaos at Gannow Top at 7am on Thursday
Rob Stuart's photo of traffic chaos at Gannow Top at 7am on Thursday

Furious motorists have vented their frustrations after the opening of new traffic lights, designed to ease delays, had the opposite effect this morning.

The new lights at the busy Barracks roundabout, finally operating after months of work, resulted in queues of cars making a tortuous slow slog into Burnley.

Angry drivers took to social media to voice their frustrations over the latest disruption.

Taxi firm Crusader Taxis contacted the Burnley Express.

Paul Smith, working from the company’s base in Stanley Street, said: “Our drivers have been radioing in from 6-30am saying the roads were in chaos.

“Padiham Road, Sycamore Avenue, Gannow Lane and Accrington Road have all had traffic queued back.

“The Highways Agency people need to come down here at rush hour and see for themselves the problems. It’s ridiculous.”

Former professional cricketer Joe Scuderi Tweeted the Burnley Express to say: “absolute disgrace. Poor planning by the council. Muppets making decisions!!!”

Madeleine McGrail, who lives in Padiham Road, said she took a detour along Gannow Lane to bypass the queues only to find that too was blocked.

She said: “It is not just the new lights that are causing problems, but the county council have decided to change the lanes on Cavalry Way leading in to Barracks Road. People don’t know which lane to use, and I’m worried it could cause an accident.”

Lancashire County Council has repeatedly stressed that the changes being done would improve traffic flow into Burnley.

Graeme Leathard, principal engineer for Lancashire County Council, apologised in October for the delays and said: “The work will improve this gateway into Burnley and mean fewer delays in future, and we’re grateful for people’s continued patience.”

But another disgruntled motorist obviously didn’t agree and tweeted Lancashire County Council’s account to let them know.

“Motorists in Burnley should be given free parking for a month by means of an apology for the traffic chaos.”

And another was even less complimentary in an email to the Express which said: “After months of delays and aggravation the new traffic light system at the top of Westgate is unveiled.

“And what an utter shambles, now adding a breathtaking seven minutes to the morning commute. Even by Highway Agency standards, this is a work of staggering incompetence. The Burnley driver has long been a beleaguered soul who grits his teeth with the patience of a saint. The people responsible for this monstrosity should be pelted with soggy fruit in the market square.”