UPDATE, 2.45pm Friday, March 6: Lincolnshire County Council has u-turned on its decision to switch off the Canwick Hill lights in the evenings.
The lights will be temporarily re-implemented on a 24/7 basis. The council says this is because the slope of the hill and remaining barriers would obstruct the views of people leaving Heighington Road.
They will attempt to remove barriers over the next seven days and reassess.
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “As part of our plan for changing the signal operation times here, our traffic management contractor removed some of the temporary barriers overnight so drivers could turn more easily onto Canwick Hill.
“However, our team noted that, due to the slope of the junction, the remaining barriers can obstruct the view for people wanting to leave Heighington Road, making it unsafe to turn onto Canwick Hill.
“So for the safety of our road users, we’ve decided to re-implement the signals on a 24/7 basis, just until all the barriers can be removed and replaced with lower ones that don’t obstruct visibility.
“We expect this to be within the next seven days.
“We apologise for any confusion.”
Lincolnshire County Council will turn off the temporary traffic lights on Canwick Hill from Friday to ease congestion during the late afternoon and evening rush.
Temporary traffic lights were trialled as part of Washingborough Road’s five-month closure from February 17, but it didn’t take long for it to cause issues including three-mile tailbacks at rush hour and lane merging standoffs.
After monitoring the effects of the temporary signals, the county council decided that the temporary traffic signal arrangement at the Heighington Road/Canwick Hill junction would be changed.
From Friday, March 6 they will remain in use every morning, but will no longer be in operation after 3pm, although the exact shut-off times may vary depending on operational needs.
When the signals are not in use they will be switched off and removed, along with all related signage. However, the right-turn ban into Heighington Road will remain in place 24/7.
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Our traffic team has been monitoring the effects of the temporary signals at the Heighington Road/Canwick Hill junction and found that they have been causing congestion when people are leaving Lincoln after work in the week.
“As a result, we’ve made the decision to continue using the signals for people traveling towards Lincoln in the morning, but will remove them ahead of the late afternoon and evening rush.
“We will continue monitoring the impact of the signals and will modify them as and when necessary to ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible while Washingborough Road is closed. I want to thank everyone for remaining patient as we work towards opening Lincoln’s new bypass later this year.”