PARTS of Chelmsford came to a standstill during rush hour after an accident involving a bus yesterday damaged a traffic light control box.
Temporary traffic lights were put up at the junction with Rainsford Road and Parkway (A1060) after yesterday's accident.
Traffic approaching the junction was restricted and there was no right turn from Parkway into Rainsford Road – and no right turn from Rainsford Road into Parkway or straight over from Rainsford Road into Duke Street.
The main lights were fixed by 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, but restrictions at the Parkway and Rainsford Road junction remain in place whilst repair works are completed.
A county council spokesman said the authority does not anticipate the same traffic problems to occur this evening.
As a result of the restrictions, some motorists reported that it had taken them more than two hours to complete journeys which would normally take a quarter of that time.
Drivers took to Twitter to air their frustrations.
Scott Collins said: "stuck on #LondonRoad #Chelmsford for over an hour surely @EssexPoliceUK should divert at #A12 as no opportunity to turn around #FAIL"
Fiona Lau said: "Busy day stymied by gridlocked traffic in central Chelmsford. Ridiculous."
Charlotte Wibberley said: "What's going on with the roads in Chelmsford this morning? #gridlock"
One user, going by the username Princess, said: "20 min journey so far has taken me nearly 2 hours! #Chelmsford"
A spokesman for Essex County Council said: "A collision involving a bus yesterday has meant that significant repairs are needed to the junction of Parkway, Rainsford Road and Waterhouse Lane.
"Significant repairs will be required to both the traffic lights and the street lights, which will mean working with UK Power Networks and utility providers.
"Essex County Council will be working with utility providers throughout the day in order to repair the damage caused at this location."
Most of the congestion had cleared by 11am.
The main lights were fixed early on Wednesday afternoon, but restrictions at the Parkway and Rainsford Road junction remain in place whilst repair works are completed.
Earlier in the morning, delays were reported on more than a dozen major city centre routes.
The red spot marks the junction where temporary traffic lights were put up following an accident yesterday [Google Maps]