Rats blamed for causing delays and tail-backs at A120 junction at Stansted

Rats are being blamed for hold-ups on the A120 near Stansted

Rats are being blamed for hold-ups on the A120 near Stansted - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Motorists are being held up at a busy motorway junction as rats have gnawed through electrical cables.

Rob Mackley noticed after he returned from holiday at Easter that his commute from Bacon End to Bishop’s Stortford was 20 to 25 minutes longer due to a change in the traffic signal timing at the A120/M11 roundabout.

He has since changed his route to work, driving through Takeley but now the B1256 is getting snarled up as motorists try to avoid the A120 traffic.

The Great Canfield parish councillor wrote to the Highways Agency to enquire about the change of timings at the junction.

Amey, which manages motorways in the east on behalf of the Highways Agency, responded with the shock answer, claiming the control box for the roundabout’s traffic lights was infested by rodents, who had eating wiring causing the tailbacks.

Mr Mackley said: “After I returned from holiday at Easter I noticed my commute was getting longer. I would leave at the normal time at 7am and get to work 20 minutes late.

“Normally there’s not much traffic at the roundabout at that time, but it changed and at other lights there were five cars waiting, coming from the A120, there were more like 18.

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“It was causing a tailback to the Hilton roundabout at Stansted so I contacted the Highways Agency, which told me that the problem was being caused by rats.

He added: “Because of the delays I now use country roads that the A120 was designed to alleviate and I shouldn’t be using but now they are getting busy too as people try to get around the A120 traffic.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency confirmed the issue and said driver flows are being managed less effectively as the traffic light management system can no longer detect the volume of vehicles using each arm of the junction.

They added: “The traffic signal controller cabinets at this site are currently infested with rodents which have eaten through some of the internal wiring.

“This has resulted in a number of loops becoming inoperable and the site not running as efficiently as it should. We are currently waiting for Highways England to approve funding to address these issues and action should be taken in the near future. We are working hard to solve the issue and prevent it from reoccurring.”