TRAFFIC lights across a busy junction were wiped out after a van rammed into a set of lights and knocked them down.

There was traffic chaos at the junction of Brook Street and East Street in Colchester on Friday.

The area is notorious for accidents and traffic snarl ups.

At about 9.50am on Friday, a van was seen mounting the central island at the end of East Hill, knocking over the traffic lights towards East Street.


It ended up wiping the power to all the traffic lights across the junction.

A witness said debris from the traffic lights was strewn across the road and had to be moved to the central island so other cars could pass.

She said: “The van went right over the central island, we could see the traffic lights on the floor.

“We just heard the crunch and saw the van trying to reverse off the island.

“The police were involved. All the traffic lights were down so that’s going to be chaos.”

Essex Highways, which manages traffic lights, came out to put up a sign warning drivers of the broken lights.

The witness added: “We haven’t seen any temporary traffic lights, but a sign has been put up.

“The driver did stop straight away and pull over. I have seen times where lorries have knocked the traffic lights down and have just driven off.”


With no traffic calming measures in place there was traffic building in all directions around the junction during peak times.

A spokesman for Essex Police said the van driver had been reported.

He added: “A van hit the traffic light in East Street, Colchester, shortly before 9.50am on Friday.

“The council’s highways department has been informed and the driver was reported for careless driving.”

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “Works are planned to replace the damaged traffic light at this location this evening.

"Traffic Management, a temporary crossing and temporary traffic lights will be put in place prior to works commencing at 7pm.

"Work is expected to be completed by 11.30pm assuming no complications arise.”