Hull City Council leader sorry for Tesco St Stephen's traffic chaos
CITY council leader Steve Brady has apologised for the traffic chaos that saw drivers stuck in a car park for more than two hours.
Shoppers were caught in jams at the free Tesco car park underneath St Stephen's shopping centre because of roadworks in Park Street.
The latest nightmare traffic conditions have come after weeks of problems across the city.
Drivers have struggled to get around Hull due to roadworks in Chanterlands Avenue, Bricknell Avenue, County Road North, Holderness Road, Spring Bank West and Princes Road – some of the main artery routes into the city.
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Councillor Brady has now apologised to motorists and admitted the authority needs to be better prepared when roadworks are carried out at traffic hotspots.
He revealed a full investigation into the latest problem has been carried out and said the council had failed to appreciate just how busy the area gets.
Cllr Brady said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the roadworks.
"We always knew these particular works would cause bigger problems, but perhaps we underestimated just how bad it would get.
"Lessons will be learnt from this.
"We really need to smarten up on how we tell the public about upcoming roadworks."
Commuters have struggled to come and go out of the free car park all week.
But on Saturday – the busiest shopping day of the week – motorists were stranded for up to two-and- a-half hours.
They could not pull out of their parking bays because they were blocked by traffic trying to get out.
Cllr Brady admits there was a lack of communication and has suggested ways the council can better inform residents of future roadworks.
He said: "What really annoys people is when they don't feel they have had proper notification.
"Obviously, we have to have roadworks but we need to get better at communicating where and when they will occur.
"We will look at leafleting residents living near areas that are going to have a large project and will look at clearer and larger signage and putting up signs further in advance."
Traffic leaving Park Street only has one route out – via traffic lights at the junction with Anlaby Road.
Alternative routes out via Spring Bank, Londesborough Street and Colonial Street are all shut.
Simon Robinson, 39, was stuck for two-and-a-half hours at the weekend.
He came to the city from Withernsea for a day out and said: "The council can apologise but I don't know if it will make any difference for the future.
"I can't understand why they couldn't stop the roadworks at the weekend. If the surface wasn't complete, they have could opened up the road with a speed restriction.
"Signs in advance won't help people from the East Riding – they still wouldn't get to hear about the problems until they got to Hull."
Some drivers gave up and abandoned their cars, leaving notes on the windscreen explaining they would return at a quieter time.
Frances and Matthew Smith were stuck for 45 minutes.
They came to Hull from Cleethorpes for a weekend away.
Matthew said: "We were trapped behind and in front so we couldn't pull out of our bay.
"People were getting frustrated and tooting their horns."
The Tesco car park is free for two hours but motorists face a £70 fine if they go over that time.
Tesco has said no fines will be issued while the Park Street roadworks are ongoing.
The council expects the works will be finished by Friday evening.