It was always going to be a tough ask - anything less than a second flyover providing a solution to the congestion problem at the troublesome Maitland Train Station roundabout.
Early indications from frustrated drivers are that the new traffic lights have not provided a magic fix for the busy roundabout. Some even believe the traffic lights have made congestion worse.
But Transport for NSW claims the traffic lights on the eastbound approach are having an impact on afternoon westbound queues.
A spokesperson said Transport for NSW had carried out initial traffic monitoring at the roundabout and found that "westbound queue lengths have reduced by around 150 metres during the afternoon peak".
"Further monitoring and adjustments are now being carried out to minimise queueing on other approaches to the roundabout - and will inform the second stage of the project," the spokesperson said.
Transport for NSW previously said the idea behind the traffic lights - a "short-term traffic improvement" - was to create more gaps for westbound motorists.
But exasperated commuters believe stopping eastbound traffic has created an easier path for vehicles exiting Church Street, making it harder for westbound cars to enter the roundabout.
Rutherford woman Jessica Mungoven said she couldn't believe it when she saw where the traffic lights were.
"The lights just make it easier for Church Street traffic to enter the roundabout preventing westbound traffic from entering," she said.
"I work in East Maitland and live in Rutherford and often avoid coming home that way so I don't have to wait."
Former mayor Ray Fairweather said the roundabout "will not work with only one set of traffic lights".
"You have to control traffic exiting from Church Street," he said.
Another reader Phillip Wilson believed the issue would intensify once works to widen Abbot Street are complete.
He said people were already turning right on the highway near the visitor's centre and using Abbot Street and Athel Dombrain Drive as a rat-run to get onto the roundabout at Church Street.
"That's going to happen a hell of a lot more when the road works are done," he said.
"This can only mean it is back to square one for the commuters heading west on the New England Highway as people work out there is a new 'back way' to get past the line up."
Transport for NSW said the other part of the stage one project, road widening on Cessnock Road, is expected to be completed by the end of this year and consultation the second stage would be held before the end of this year.