CHANGES have been made to traffic signals at Castle Gate island, after works have created a traffic nightmare for drivers.

Work started last weekend at the island in a bid to improve air pollution along the route, which is one of the busiest in the borough.

Despite most of the work taking place during night, drivers have faced massive delays during the day.

Drivers have reported being stuck in traffic for up to an hour at the island and nearby routes on Tipton Road and the bypass.

In response to the backlash, Dudley Council has been in contact with contractors to make changes to the traffic signals in a bid to ease the traffic jams.

A Dudley Council spokesperson said: "We expect this to improve the flow of traffic in the area during peak periods, although inevitably there will still be delays and disruption to journeys while the works are ongoing.

"We would advise people to consider using alternative routes until the works are completed, which we anticipate will be in November.

"We'll continue to carry out the bulk of the works overnight during quieter periods, but of course we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Demi-Leigh Freeman, who lives close to the Dudley Guest hospital, said she was stuck at the island for 45 minutes while on her way to an appointment at her vets, before giving up and catching the bus instead.

She said: "I understand they want to improve air quality but the traffic around it is making the air quality the worst it can probably be with all the traffic."

She expressed her concern with how emergency service vehicles may get stuck in the traffic, losing vital minutes in reaching people in need.

Councillor Shaukat Ali, who represents St Thomas', said it is crucial that the work is better managed.

He said: "There have been massive queues on the bypass. I understand that work needs to be done but it needs to be better managed.

"It will be good in the long term but can you imagine the effect it is having on air pollution now?"

He added that with extensive works coming to Dudley, such as the Metro development, better planning for road works is needed to avoid the town centre being turned into a "car park".

The works at Castle Gate island will be in place until November.