Road Works & Temporary Traffic Lights: What to do when they go wrong

Last week the temporary traffic lights on Shawhurst Lane were broken, they'd been stuck on red for a 24 hour period and were causing major tailbacks down Shawhurst Lane and May Lane.

This is not the first time this has happened. Earlier in the year the temporary traffic lights on Lowbrook Lane were broken for an extended period, whilst Silver Street was also under construction.

Getting children to schools and commuting to work was causing major traffic.

Even this morning, the three way traffic lights on Station Road were stuck on red, causing problems during rush hour.

We phoned the council last week to let them know about the broken traffic lights on Shawhurst Lane, which proved to be quite confusing.

First we had the wrong number, then the number we were given was incorrect. Then when we reached someone we had to go online whilst on the phone to report the broken traffic lights.

It seems to be such a palaver just to report broken traffic lights, so much so that people aren't going to take time out of their busy days to do it.

In 2010, broken temporary traffic lights were a reoccurring problem in Derbyshire. Derbyshire Police and the Institute of Advanced Motorists say first of all you should give the lights plenty of chance to change from red to amber.

"It's a tricky one because the absolute copper-bottom rule is that the red light must be obeyed", says Vince Yearly from the Institute of Advanced Motorists. 

"However, if you've been sitting there for a few minutes and it's become fairly obvious the lights aren't changing then you've got to reconsider. 

"So if you can see ahead of you quite clearly and can ideally see the other set of lights or the back of them, I would lower my window a little to hear if there's anything moving in your vicinity. 
"Then put your lights on and very tentatively and cautiously start to make your way forward. 

"It's not a very scientific answer and it needs a liberal dose of common sense but at the first hint you've miscalculated and the lights have just been on a long red, you should reconsider and reposition the vehicle."
If you are stuck in front of traffic lights that are broken the police recommend that drivers should wait at least 4 minutes before driving around the lights.