ULVERSTON was subject to a traffic nightmare as gridlock took hold around the centre due to temporary lights on the A590.

A county councillor said emergency works being carried out were the cause of the bumper-to-bumper traffic, which caused delays of around 20 minutes westbound and 40 minutes eastbound, according to the AA traffic news on Saturday.

Ulverston councillor Mark Wilson said: “This was down to emergency work on the road.

“What we have done with county council is we have said that when urgent work needs doing, they have the right to take action straight away. When I rang asking about what this was after being alerted to it by residents, they told me this was the case.”

Due to the one-way system in the town centre, there was concern among readers that it could put people coming to Ulverston from a tourism perspective.

“The town centre still had plenty of people,” Cllr Wilson continued.

“I guess a lot of people know the rat routes.

“Fair enough it was blocked going towards Kendal, but when the lights changed people were making room for people to come out.

“This sort of stuff does happen unfortunately, and in the past we have had some really long queues due to issues around Newby Bridge, but sometimes this is necessary in cases of police action being taken for example.

“I think it was just unfortunate timing with it being a bank holiday weekend really, but they do have a right to do this.”

Traffic issues in Ulverston on the A590 have been a sore spot for residents in the past and there have been rallying calls for a bypass to be created following reports of ‘traffic chaos’ due to long running roadworks in autumn of 2020 to resurface the road between the junctions of Quebec Street and Prince’s Street/Queen Street crossroads.

One reader said: “Absolutely ridiculous at Ulverston today the traffic was just gridlocked.

“Why is this being done now on the first bank holiday when people can go out and enjoy the fine weather after being locked down for months? Barmy.”

Another said: “They’ve only had 18 months to do the work while the roads have been dead.

“Then lo and behold, come bank holiday weekend let’s get traffic lights up. Unbelievable.”

Highways England explained that this work was nothing to do with them despite the road being their jurisdiction.

A spokesman said: “They are not our traffic lights. The report on the log says it is a contractor monitoring traffic counts and that they are due to come off on May 3.”

The spokesman went on to assure public that notice of any roadworks would be given in advance.

He added that Highways England always tries to minimise disruption from roadworks undertaken and that they liaise closely with stakeholders, local authorities, and residents to keep them informed of the work being done.