A long-running saga involving temporary traffic lights that have brought chaos and frustration on the road leading to Shanklin seafront, could soon be at an end.
The temporary lights and barriers were placed on Hope Hill six weeks ago, just a few yards up from the start of Shanklin Esplanade. Since then they have caused long tailbacks to and from the seafront, annoying tourists and locals alike, and prompting hoteliers and guest house owners in the area to question why they are even there.
The IW Observer has been told that the lights, which have also often failed causing more problems, were installed because of a possible void under the carriageway, following work initially undertaken by Southern Water. But it has taken much of the summer high season for the Isle of Wight Council, Island Roads and Southern Water to call an on-site meeting to try to resolve the issue.
It is understood all three parties will finally meet on Thursday this week to try to sort out the problem, and hopefully bring the saga to a swift conclusion.
One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is absolutely ridiculous just how long this has taken. Not only have the lights caused problems, the barriers and cones that were erected stuck out too far into the road, particularly at the top of the works.
“As a result vehicles coming up from the Esplanade could not get past those waiting to go down because the carriageway was too narrow. Also there have been problems for motorists getting out of Hope Road car park because of the tailbacks.”
Another Shanklin resident said: “I know a number of individuals and businesses down Shanklin Esplanade are not happy with the temporary traffic lights that have been on Hope Road for six weeks. It seems Island Roads and Southern Water have been giving them the runaround.”
A spokesmen for Island Roads said: “Temporary traffic lights have been installed in Hope Hill for safety reasons to keep traffic away from a void that has been detected beneath the carriageway. We believe this void is connected to recent Southern Water work in the area and we have arranged a site meeting with Southern Water to discuss the situation and investigate how repairs should progress.
“We will continue to monitor the temporary traffic lights to ensure they are allowing optimum traffic flows until the void is repaired. We hope this situation can be resolved promptly.”
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry to hear about the disruption to traffic and inconvenience caused by a hole in the road on Hope Road, Shanklin. We’ll be meeting with representatives at Isle of Wight County Council this week to discuss the issue and a way forward.”