SHOPPERS and motorists experienced hours of delays near a Colchester retail park while engineers worked to fix a damaged traffic light.

Traffic came to a standstill yesterday near the Turner Rise Retail Park, resulting in ASDA shoppers being unable to vacate the parking lot.

Some of those who unfortunately found themselves caught-up in the gridlocked congestion said they struggled for hours to leave the area.

Bosses at Essex Highways have now explained the traffic chaos was a result of the closure of just one 12-ft-wide lane.

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A spokesman said: "A lane was closed on Station Road, Colchester so that we could safely replace a damaged signal head on a traffic light.

"The signal head has now been fixed and we have arranged for the traffic management to be cleared as soon as possible."

One resident who found themselves in the traffic chaos was Caroline Davis.

She said: "I went to Asda in my lunch hour just after 1pm and was stuck in it for more than 50 minutes trying to get out of Asda."

Another shopper, Pashey Buckley, experienced a longer-than-usual drive home. 

They said: "It was a nightmare. There is surely something that can be done to sort it out.

"I just went for out to do some food shopping and it took me three hours instead of my usual half an hour."

David Gilder said he was also stuck in traffic for a long period.

He said: "My family and I sat in the parking lot for two and a half hours."

According to Essex County Council's live traffic map, slow traffic has once again been reported in the North Station area this morning.

A report of the disruption says: "Drivers can experience slow traffic northbound on Westway, Station Way and Northern Approach Road to Turner Road.

"The traffic is also causing delays westbound on Cowdray Avenue to Westway."