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Council apologises for Strand chaos; Unwelcome echoes of Big Dig as chaos returns to The Strand s.

Byline: DAVID BARTLETT

LIVERPOOL Council last night apologised to thousands of motorists caught up in rushhour chaos on one of the city's busiest routes.

Many motorists faced delays of more than 45 minutes to travel just a few hundred yards in the city centre, due to two lanes on The Strand being closed. Yesterday, and on

Monday, the city council closed the lanes to install new lighting columns opposite the famous Three Graces, causing long tailbacks..

The problems were exacerbated by the partial closure of Tithebarn Street, at the heart of the business district, which is closed until the weekend for gas and water works.

Opposition councillors last night said the delays would remind drivers of the delays endured during the city's massive road regeneration scheme -the Big Dig.

Frank McKenna, of business lobby group Downtown Liverpool in Business, said the city's leadership should be embarrassed over the chaos. The current works on The Strand involve improving the street lighting between James Street and New Quay and repaving the footpaths between the James Street junction and Chapel Street, using high-quality materials. The pavement works will continue for another month. Cllr Nick Small, opposition spokesman for enterprise and tourism, said: "It has caused massive disruption for people travelling around the city centre. "We put up with a lot of unnecessary disruption from the Big Dig and now people have had traffic chaos once more. They need to get their act together." Mr McKenna said the disruption had been down to poor planning and co-ordination. "We had four years of disruption with the Big Dig and were promised that would be the end of the delays." A council spokesman said: "The disruption was due to the replacement of lighting columns on The Strand. "The columns had to be levered in, so that meant that two lanes had to be closed. "We recognise that it caused delays and apologise to motorists for the inconvenience caused."

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Traffic chaos on The Strand Rush-hour traffic is causing long hold-ups on The Strand
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2009
Words:338
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