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Stranded beyond the ‘point of no return’

Road to nowhere: Bridge repairs will block Marsh Lane for two months causing more congestion on the adjacent Ringway

Road to nowhere: Bridge repairs will block Marsh Lane for two months causing more congestion on the adjacent Ringway

Furious motorists have slammed Preston’s latest road hold-up as a traffic “trap” with no warning.

Drivers stuck in nose-to-tail queues into the city centre caused by the closure of Marsh Lane for bridge re-painting claim they were lured into the jams by a lack of signs.

“You have no chance to avoid the bottleneck once you get past a certain point,” said businessman Chris Johnson who was stranded in the queues for almost an hour.

“If there had been warning signs further back I could have nipped left and gone a different way. As it was I didn’t realise until it was too late. I had already passed the point of no return and I was trapped.”

Workmen closed Marsh Lane last week to renovate the railway bridge which carries the main London to Glasgow line. The scheme is expected to take up to two months, leaving motorists frustrated yet again with Preston city centre’s choking road network.

At morning rush hour the closure has meant even longer tailbacks into Penwortham, where the main A59 is already groaning under the weight of commuter traffic. Drivers heading over the Penwortham flyover could avoid the congestion by filtering left along Strand Road and using Fylde Road into the city. But without diversion signs until vehicles reach the turn off to Marsh Lane, thousands have become stuck in the queues crawling along Ringway.

“I don’t live in Preston, but I work here and I gave myself a good half hour to get from my office on the Docks to an appointment near the Bus Station,” said Chris Johnson.

“Like everyone else I didn’t see any warning signs until I was already stuck - for 55 minutes. I could have walked there quicker - in fact I could have crawled! I know roadworks are inevitable and we all have to put up with them. But without warning signs of queues ahead they don’t give drivers a chance.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council was not available for comment.

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