SUPERMARKET firm Lidl and Somerset County Council’s highways department were under fire today after temporary traffic lights on the edge of Wellington caused chaos on local roads.

The county council has given permission for traffic to be disrupted for two weeks while an access is constructed for a Lidl store being built off the Cades estate roundabout.

But angry residents quickly took to social media to complain about delays of up to 45 minutes, with claims that at times only three vehicles were able to pass through the lights.

They were also unhappy with the number of vehicles parked in Torres Vedras Drive, which they said blocked the flow of traffic, and with damage alleged to have been caused to grass verges on the estate.

Some motorists said queues at times stretched back into the estate as far as the turning into Aspin Close, and that vehicles were unable to enter or exit Bramley Close.

There was further confusion for drivers because two sets of signage said traffic was under ‘three-way control’ while the other two stated ‘four-way control’.

Wellington town Cllr Wayne Battishill, who lives on the Cades estate, said he had been inundated with complaints about the issues.

Cllr Battishill said: “The phasing of the lights have been set so that it allows more cars to go through from both directions in and out of Wellington.

“But it means there is a longer wait for cars to get off the estate.

“This is leaving residents frustrated and angry about the situation, also the amount of cars being parked on the estate by work personnel from the building site which has been causing blockages in the road.

“I fully understand the need for the lights as this will ensure that the required work is carried out safely.

“However there needs to be a little more thought for the residents coming in and off the estate.”

Cllr Battishill said the issue of off-site parking for construction workers also needed to be better thought through, although he appreciated they might need to carry equipment and tools from their vehicles.

He said: “Once Lidl is built, I am sure it will be of massive benefit and will be used a lot by the local residents.

“However, until this is open and completed, Lidl and the building contractors need to be mindful and rather more considerate of local residents.”

A letter from Louis Day, of Soldi Construction, dated January 11 and delivered to some homes on the estate, said the work would continue until February 15 ‘for the new Lidl store access’ on Nynehead Road.

Mr Day said “There will be traffic lights on the roundabout between Nynehead, Torres Vedras, and Taunton Road.

“These will be kept to a minimum, with supervision during peak travel hours.”

Mr Day said Nynehead Road would be completely closed between February 13 and 15 and traffic diverted, although there would be pedestrian access.

He gave an Exeter telephone number for residents to call if they had ‘any issues’.

However, on social media, some residents complained they had not received the Soldi letter telling them the work was going to happen, while others they had called the contractors without receiving an answer.

One wrote: “The entrance is in a place which will cause further disruption and I think the lights situation has not been thought through.

“It is very dangerous plus all the cars parked is causing issues.

“Yes, it is great to have a new supermarket but planning has not been efficient.”

Another wrote: “The lights only go green for 21 seconds out of the estate but allow two minutes A38 each way and 15 seconds Poole Road.

“Reckon we should all drive like Lewis Hamilton.”

One car passenger wrote: “I have been sat in three rounds of red/green already and we are still not out.”

Another traveller wrote: “The 40 minutes we were sat there was a joke.

“This has not been thought about properly at all.

“I am all for Lidl but they should be doing this light situation during the day after 10 am or during the night, not rush hour in the mornings.

“I am now an hour late for work.”

A spokeswoman for Lidl said she would provide a comment for the Wellington Weekly as soon as she was able to do so.

The county council has also been approached for a comment on the issues.