Traffic is already building up as a £9 million scheme to improve one of of Gloucestershire’s congestion black spots gets underway.
Just hours after contractors started coning off the inside lane on the Elmbridge Court roundabout, commuters started reporting traffic gridlock on the way into work.
Highways have put in the 24-hour inner ring lane closure so that a “straight-on” lane can be built through the middle of the roundabout and early reports suggested that the Monday morning traffic was flowing well.
But as time went on the traffic started building up.
Tom Gibbon, is stuck in a long jam on the A40 Barnwood link road
“I’m stuck and the traffic is awful, It would normally take a few minutes but I’ve been here for ten minutes and have hardly moved. It’s ridiculously slow and as far as I can see it looks like gridlock.”
Motorists have been warned to allow at least an extra fifteen minutes for their journey because of the government-funded infrastructure plan.
But many fear it could mean an even earlier start for commuters when the children go back to school over the coming weeks.
Some parents say they are already fearful of the impact on the school run and many have expressed dismay that it will take a year for things to return to normal.
The first six weeks will be the worse as the roundabout is modified to look like a hamburger, with a road going through the middle.
Commuters who came in earlier said the traffic at the roundabout was clear.
“It was OK when I went past at 6.30am this morning, but I’m sure will be a different matter when the rush hour gets underway proper and it will be a nightmare when the schools go back,” said one commuter from the Forest of Dean.
“The traffic from the Longford roundabout was OK but I pity those coming from Longlevens because it looks like they will struggle to get on the roundabout at all. They say allow an extra fifteen minutes but I’m guessing it will be a lot more in a few weeks time. A year is a long time to be getting up at 5-5.30am to avoid the traffic so I think I will be studying the map to find a different route. I feel sorry for working parents with school age children who can’t.”
Councillors admit it will cause major delays but say in the long run it will help relieve congestion and boost the local economy