A frustrated commuter has described the effects of the Clifton Bridge closure as ‘chaos’ at a nearby roundabout – even with one lane now open.
Mr Phillips, who works as a buyer and is also Conservative councillor for the Compton Acres ward at Rushcliffe Borough Council, said his 4.5 mile journey has become a stressful experience since the closure on the A52.
He said: “It’s not the best commute anyway, but since the closure of Clifton Bridge, there are tailbacks right along University Boulevard at rush hour.
“At 5pm, you just can’t get across. The road is blocked at all junctions and it can take an hour to go down.
“Trying to get on to Dunkirk roundabout is absolute chaos with the slip road for the A52 near Abbey Street.”
Mr Phillips described his frustration with motorist’s ‘road rage’ as well as the need for more traffic management after Highways England, the city council and police previously worked to keep junctions open and flowing.
He added: “At this location there is road rage every night. Cars bumping up curbs to get by and vehicles four abreast on the slip round from the island squeezing in, pipping horns and showing aggressive behaviour.
“I’ve driven in similar conditions in San Francisco. No one makes eye contact, buses get stuck and you don’t want to leave a gap because you know someone will jump in.
“By the time you come home you need to lie down, you’re just a wreck.
“I’ve not seen any help from traffic officers and I think it needs managing. We’ve got to keep that roundabout open, especially as there are a lot of emergency vehicles on that route.”
On Friday, February 7, the day following the closure, Mr Phillips said his journey took around two hours and he nearly decided to leave his car and walk.
With the news repairs will be continuing on the bridge until the end of the year, the borough councillor is looking forward to better weather when he can cycle the route instead.
“My journey will be around 15 minutes when I can cycle, but the weather has been too bad recently,” he said.
“But this closure has brought out the worst in drivers – everyone is just in a rush these days and there is no consideration.
“The people I feel most sorry for is the service drivers and lorry drivers who have to use these roads for a living but need breaks.
“The closure is costing Nottingham so much and I do agree with the need for another bridge as repairs will only last so long.”
On Thursday, February 6, the eastbound bridge on Clifton Boulevard was closed after corroded steel cables were discovered within the concrete chambers of the structure during a routine inspection.
The closure led to widespread disruption across the city for around a week, until one lane was reopened towards Clifton.
Highways England says it is finalising details from surveys and inspections, and is doing everything it can to open more lanes as soon as it is safe to do so.
On the issues raised by Mr Phillips, a spokesman for Highways England said: “We appreciate roadworks are frustrating and we feel the pain as well.
“We have friends and family living in Nottingham and they’ve also encountered the disruption. We’re doing everything we can to get more lanes open on the eastbound Clifton Bridge as quickly and as safely as we can.
“We’ve had to put lane restrictions in place to ensure we don’t cause any further damage to the structure and to protect both motorists and our workforce underneath the bridge, hidden from view.
“We’re working closely with the city council and local partners to ensure we can keep disruption to a minimum during this vital repair work and we would encourage drivers to leave extra time for their journeys while we have restrictions on the bridge.”