Gloucestershire's busiest junction has become a ‘nightmare’ after computer software that controls the traffic lights crashed.
The Cole Avenue traffic lights, in Quedgeley, have special computer technology under the road surface which should monitor the number of vehicles on each arm of the busy junction and control the lights accordingly.
The complex system, designed to manage traffic flows, broke down earlier this year.
But now that the hardware has been repaired, it has emerged that the computer software that controls the lights has now crashed.
Parish councillor Anna Mozol, who also represents the area on Gloucester City Council, said: “If you hit it at the wrong time it is an absolute nightmare.
“Anyone going to Quedgeley from Pets At Home will find the timings are all wrong. It is horrendous and it has been going on for far too long.”
When traffic flows are high, the ‘Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation’ device is supposed to switch the lights to green on the busier arms to alleviate queues.
But when the software crashes it reverts back to a default timed phasing of the lights which lies at the root of the problem.
County councillor Mark Hawthorne (C, Quedgeley) has vowed to tackle the problem. He said: “I can confirm there has been a new traffic lights issue. We had the hardware problems and now we have a software failure.
“It is apparently affecting similar junctions all over the country but a fix is being worked on.”
The debacle of the traffic lights has dragged on for around three years now. Back in September 2011, Barry Kirby, now a county councillor, said: “Residents deserve it to be a reliable junction. This has been going on a long time, since the lights were renewed, and they keep breaking leaving drivers to negotiate their way through the junction at huge risk.”
The junction brings together Bristol Road, the A38 and Cole Avenue and is a major route to Quedgeley and the M5 – and in the other direction it is one of the primary gateways into Gloucester.