Temporary traffic lights left in place on Norfolk roads when no work is happening must be tackled, say councillors

File photo of temporary traffic lights in Norwich. Picture James Bass.

File photo of temporary traffic lights in Norwich. Picture James Bass. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

The 'unacceptable' situation which sees Norfolk drivers stuck behind temporary traffic lights left in place when no work is going on must be tackled, councillors have said.

Norfolk county councillors have called on the authority to 'sharpen up' its monitoring of work being done by contractors.

The council runs a permit scheme for the likes of BT and electricity companies, when they need to do work.

But councillors said there were too many occasions when temporary traffic lights put in place for that work were not removed when construction was not taking place.

Bev Spratt, Conservative councillor for West Depwade, said there had been recent incidents in his division where signs and lights had been in place for longer than needed.

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He said: 'I get complaints where signs have gone up and not been taken down. And we seem too have lost control of the lighting situation, when the companies are not quite so keen to get roads open as the county council are.'

Fellow Conservative Stuart Clancy, who represents Taverham, agreed.

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He said: 'This is a problem across the whole county.

'I accept we have no direct control over the contractors, but we need to be more vigilant to ensure these people are performing and putting lights in when they are not necessary.

'This is an unacceptable situation which is unnecessarily inconveniencing the public.'

The council's permit scheme is designed to minimise disruption to the public.

Martin Wilbur, chairman of the environment, transport and development committee, said: 'In addition to the permit scheme, all work is subject that random inspection.

'The results of these inspections form part of our performance monitoring of all works promoters and is shared both regionally and nationally.

'These inspections help to identity what additional measures can be taken on site in order to help minimise any disruption being caused.'

He added highways officers would respond to and investigate public complaints about roadworks.

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