Motorists travelling in and out of Tunbridge Wells this week faced lengthy delays and mile long tailbacks in all directions because of traffic gridlock in the town.
Christmas shoppers, commuters and office workers sat in queues because of emergency work being carried out by UK Power Networks on the A26 near the roundabout at the junction of The Pantiles and Major York’s Road.
Three way traffic lights were put into operation at the junction on Monday which meant some motorists took nearly an hour just getting out of the town centre.
Crowborough resident Peter Atkins said: Normally the journey home takes about 15 minutes. Monday evening it was more than an hour no matter which route we tried”.
Penshurst resident Michael Tilling said: “I usually come into town on the Langton Road but that was blocked yesterday (Tuesday) at Holmewood House so I double-backed and went down Broom Lane and through Broadwater Forest.
“There was solid traffic on the Eridge Road too, backed up all the way to the village, so I went across the staggered junction on to Bunny Lane, to cut across to the Frant Road. But that too was jam-packed in both directions as everyone tried to do the same.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It added nearly an hour to my journey.”
Frustrated motorists took to social media to air their views. Among them was @gooner_kiran:” Ridiculous traffic in Tunbridge Wells today. Stuck in traffic for an hour!”
Neither Kent County Council nor the borough council had been notified about the road works.
A notice posted at the site said the work would be completed by December 12. However, when the Times contacted UK Power Networks the newspaper was told it was hoped to complete the road works last night (Tuesday).
A spokesperson said: “UK Power Networks engineers are working as quickly as possible to complete emergency repairs to an underground cable in the Eridge Road area of Tunbridge Wells to maintain reliable electricity supplies for customers in this area. Engineers worked through the night to complete this urgent work. We apologise for any inconvenience”.