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Red alert as traffic lights lead to chaos

Date published: 09 July 2014

Vandals brought more than three days of traffic misery to a Saddleworth village.

Problems started when a three-way traffic control system installed to monitor vehicle flow in Uppermill High Street failed.

Angry drivers were stuck for up to 40 minutes in tailbacks stretching more than a quarter of a mile — backing up to Greenfield station and Brownhills visitor centre.

The problems are linked to a major £1 million sewer replacement scheme being carried out by United Utilities in Church Road, which has led to traffic diversions and disruptions.

Things worsened when it was discovered vandals had tampered with the temporary lights guiding traffic from High Street to Church Road.

One frustrated businessman, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s been chaotic. At one point all the traffic lights locked on red so there was absolutely no traffic movement at all until PCSOs were called in.”

During Monday rush hour, United Utilities workers helped supervise traffic through Uppermill until the arrival of another lighting system.

Meantime, frustrated drivers say the diversions which take vehicles via Diggle or Greenfield to reach properties above the Church Road scheme are causing growing concern.

A United Utilities spokesman said: “These traffic lights had been interfered with, which is a regular problem. We are working with highways officers and police to monitor the diversion.”

A section of Church Road is scheduled to close for six weeks from Monday, July 21.Residents or business with problems can call 0845-746 2200 quoting project reference: NCA 80029009.
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Do I take that Uppermill High Street is the only route that motorists can use or do they not want to take a longer way round?

I was there today. It's awful even when the traffic signals are working!

I personally don't think it's that people don't want to take a longer way round, it's just that say for example someone wants to go from greenfield to the other side of uppermill, they'd have to go over Gelfield lane and over the tops to Diggle, and they aren't roads meant for a lot of traffic. They are narrow and windy. I would rather queue through uppermill than go along the tops

Residents have been complaining, quite rightly, for years about the need for improvements to the sewer system in the village. Now that the required works are happening, they are moaning about the unavoidable diversions. It may come as news to some people, but you can't dig up the main road without diverting traffic. In a village like Uppermill, which was not designed for multiple car ownership, disruption to the traffic flow is inevitable.


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