CITY of York Council had plenty of time to ensure the planned roadworks on the A19 at Crockey Hill caused as little disruption as possible. Yet still the chronic traffic queues yesterday seem to have caught the authority on the hop.

The work - designed to ease traffic flows by creating an extra southbound lane - caused long tailbacks in the morning rush-hour. Fed-up motorists spoke of journeys that should take 45 minutes taking two hours instead. Children were late for school and their parents were late for work as a result.

Major roadworks of this kind will always cause traffic delays and inconvenience - that’s inevitable.

Hopefully, once the work is completed, it will make it easier for those driving out of York down Fulford Road. But there are weeks of misery yet to come.

Much of the problem appears to have been caused by the timings of the temporary three-way traffic lights. Work on the Germany Beck housing development is adding to the delays.

The city council rightly points out that it warned motorists about the disruption well in advance.

Yet it has reacted to yesterday’s traffic queues by seeking an emergency closure of Wheldrake Lane - a move which would mean the temporary traffic lights were two-way only.

Surely, with the help of modern traffic-modelling software, the problems caused by having traffic trying to get through those temporary lights from three directions could have been predicted? The council’s reaction smacks of panic measures. They shouldn’t have been necessary.