THEY’VE been the bane of motorists’ lives for seven years – and now a bewildering array of traffic lights has been lampooned by radio DJ Chris Evans.
The Radio 2 star spoke out when a listener texted his programme to tell him there were 72 sets of lights at Northarbour, Portsmouth.
Evans and his regular team had been discussing a report earlier this week which revealed a 30 per cent jump in the number of lights across Britain between 2000 and 2008.
They were moaning about the growing length of time they sat at red lights. And then an unidentified listener texted with news about the Northarbour lights.
Evans said: ‘Right, everyone might need to count to 10 now because in Portsmouth they replaced a working roundabout with not one, not two, not three... not 60, not 70, but 72 traffic lights.’
He sighed deeply and added: ‘Ooooh no. Who took that decision?’
News reader Pat Huxtable, of Clarendon Road, Southsea, heard it and said: ‘Congratulations to Portsmouth for having been the butt of an enormous joke on Chris Evans’ breakfast show.
‘Was the person who texted claiming that there was a roundabout locally with 72 lights exaggerating ever so slightly, or was he merely counting each individual light? Either way, this story was trumpeted with huge amusement by both Chris Evans and his cohorts.
‘Another wonderful claim to fame for Portsmouth then.’
According to Portsmouth City Council there are 71 sets of lights, not 72, on the site of the old Johnson & Johnson roundabout, the crossroads which links the A27 to the M275 and M27.
They were put there in 2004, at a cost of £3.69m, because that roundabout repeatedly finished in the top five of the worst accident blackspots in Hampshire.
Last month the council took concerned residents on a tour of what they believed were the worst traffic hotspots in the city. It included the Northarbour lights.