ROADS bosses have been urged to do more to help local businesses and the public in Largs after another major traffic hold-up in the town.

Temporary traffic lights were erected on the A78 due to utility works by Openreach on Thursday, February 1.

The result was huge tailbacks on the trunk road through the town - with motorists reporting a journey between Largs and Fairlie had taken them an hour instead of the usual 10 minutes.

The News reported an incident last summer when an ambulance struggled to get through the gridlock.

Independent North Coast councillor Ian Murdoch said that following the latest delays he'd been contacted by a constituent about being late for an important appointment at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

Councillor Murdoch said: "When utility works are involved, they are a law unto themselves.

"I appreciate the work has to be done as everyone needs their phone and broadband, gas and electricity etc.

"While we appreciate the work getting done, there have been some hold-ups and traffic management issues which keep occurring and cause constant chaos.

"Businesses are impacted, people cannot get to appointments, and public transport is held up. They should plan these well in advance, and hold-ups should be as minimal as possible.

"There should have been, at the very least, a traffic management system on site, to make sure that the traffic flow was happening as quickly as possible.

"Can there not be any exploration as to why these works do no happen at night when they are in a built-up area?

"I understand that they do not want to disturb the residents but have they actually consulted them?

"Utility companies need to look at these works being carried out at night. That is the most logical explanation.

"The most important thing to me is my constituents and the businesses in the area.

"These roadworks have affected the whole North Coast area, including people living in West Kilbride, Fairlie and even from Cumbrae.

"The road authorities need to understand that there is no alternative route through Largs. You have the A760 and the A78, and that's it. There is no other option.

"There needs to be an action plan where councillors are consulted.

"It affects everything from picking kids up at school to a constituent being late for an appointment at the Beatson.

"To my mind, that is totally unacceptable."

Amey, which is responsible for the maintenance of the A78 under its south-west Scotland trunk road management contract, as well as Transport Scotland and Openreach, have been contacted for comment.

An Openreach spokesperson said:  “We’re very sorry for the traffic problems caused in Largs on 1 February. Our roadworks were part of plans to bring ultrafast broadband to local homes that currently have slower connectivity. 

“Unfortunately, the traffic lights got stuck on red while an operative went for lunch, causing a long tailback.

“We’re upgrading the UK’s broadband network from copper to fibre – it’s a once-in-a-generation build.

“We reuse existing infrastructure where we can, but sometimes need to install new poles, cables and ducts.  

“We work closely with local authorities and follow their guidance to minimise disruption and delays. For example, we might be asked to avoid the rush hour or work at night or the weekend. 

“This work was timed to avoid a clash with other local roadworks. 

“We’ve reminded our contractors that we expect roadworks to be monitored and managed on site.”