Gridlock at the roundabout alongside the city’s $45 million one-way overpass has motorists in a flurry and a Maitland councillor calling for action.
Westbound queues during afternoon peak hour are up to 800 metres long and frustrated drivers are using Maitland Park as a rat run to avoid the congestion.
That has put additional pressure on the u-turn bay on Cessnock Road.
The amount of drivers entering the roundabout from Church Street disrupts the flow of westbound traffic.
Queues on Church Street frequently bank up near the Grand Junction Hotel, and sometimes beyond it, while motorists wait to enter the roundabout.
Councillor Bob Geoghegan has called for a quick solution.
He suggested incorporating lights into the roundabout, which would only operate during peak times.
He was quick to dismiss the need for another one-way fly over, which was flagged after the 2011 election when the Liberal government looked for ways to fix the congestion.
It is clear that there are unacceptable delays. Although the new overpass is not yet one year old, it has been long enough to see that this will be an ongoing problem which is only likely to get worse.
“It is clear that there are unacceptable delays,” he said. “Although the new overpass is not yet one year old, it has been long enough to see that this will be an ongoing problem which is only likely to get worse.”
The issue has been raised with the city’s local traffic committee, which includes a NSW Roads and Maritime Services representative. Cr Geoghegan is part of the committee when Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore cannot attend.
The RMS told Fairfax Media last year that congestion around the roundabout would ease before Christmas when roadworks around the overpass finished.
At that time motorists were using Maitland Park as a rat run to avoid the roadworks.
“The RMS is certainly aware of the issue and are no doubt considering the options, but motorists want to know that there is a solution coming,” Cr Geoghegan said.
“Rutherford vehicles going to Cessnock must not fill the slip lane and block the through lanes on the new overpass, and city centre vehicles in Church Street must not queue back to the Grand Junction Hotel roundabout.
“Compared to the occasional Testers Hollow flooding issue, this is a problem that is happening daily and I am urging a decision by the RMS in the near future.”
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