Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WAY TO GO? Joining the Game of Traffic Roulette on Road to Work THE ROADWORKS on the A19 and A66 Have Caused a Great Deal of Chaos and Confusion. We Sent CHRIS HOLE out to See Just How Difficult It Was for Drivers

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WAY TO GO? Joining the Game of Traffic Roulette on Road to Work THE ROADWORKS on the A19 and A66 Have Caused a Great Deal of Chaos and Confusion. We Sent CHRIS HOLE out to See Just How Difficult It Was for Drivers

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS HOLE

STARTING work a little earlier than most, I am lucky enough to miss much of the rush-hour traffic.

But heading out of Middlesbrough just after 9am, queuing traffic was visible as far as the eye could see.

Travelling into Middlesbrough from the A19 northbound, I joined a long queue of traffic close to the Mandale Roundabout in Acklam.

Waiting caused some drivers to become visibly impatient - some pulling out in search of another route into the town centre.

Having made the decision to brave slow-moving traffic I finally approached the slip road onto the A66.

The major contributor to the delays soon became clear - well, orange.

A very, very long line of bright orange traffic cones!

As I got to the point where the A19 joins the eastbound A66, everyone seemed unsure over which lane they should, and could, use.

Would the lane to the left of the cones lead to roadworks?

Would the lanes on the right give us a chance to merge back into the slip road? The woman in the Beetle in front certainly couldn't tell.

Pulling over her car I had a moment of panic thinking she might actually turn round and go back down the deserted slip road.

Signs told drivers that the left hand lane was for Cannon Park, with the other two lanes for the A66.

The cones separated the lanes - for no obvious reason.

In front of me, drivers continued to brake and at times even stopped, playing traffic roulette deciding which lane would move faster - if at all.

The big issue stumping Tees drivers remained whether the cone-lined lane earmarked for Cannon Park was actually open.

Heading for Newport roundabout, I used the left hand lane but confusion continued to reign supreme.

Deciding to lead the way, I discovered the lane was in fact open, forcing a Pied Piper-style car pursuit with me leading, and others following suit.

Approaching the lane intended for traffic heading to Newport roundabout and Cannon Park, the line of cones comes to an abrupt halt - actually allowing drivers to merge onto the A66.

The only problem being you don't actually get a chance to realise this traffic oasis exists - until you drive past it.

Wondering if the road to work would have been easier from the A66 at Teesside Park or from the A19 southbound I went to test these routes out also.

As it was a little later in the morning now, there was notably less traffic. But passing the A19 slip road, more disconcerted drivers were spotted contemplating lane changes.

The final route tested was from Haverton Hill over Newport Bridge towards the Newport roundabout.

Now nearly 10am, there wasn't much of the rush-hour traffic left.

But at the previous site of traffic congestion - where work had been done on the new slip road - all that remained was a sign boldly declaring 'on-slip now open a week early'. …

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