A MEMBER of the public was forced to direct traffic at a busy Glasgow junction after evening rush hour traffic descended into chaos last night, according to sources.

Gas distribution company SGN has today apologised to drivers who were trapped in Duke Street car park for over an hour due to problems with temporary traffic lights.

As previously reported by the Evening Times, motorists were forced to leave their vehicles in the multi-storey car park after traffic signal problems left them unable to exit the building.

SGN said the problem was due to manual traffic lights stopping at 5.30pm and said this would now be extended until 7pm every day.

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Frustrated motorists bombarded Twitter to demand answers from the council and City Parking (Glasgow) LLP after the long wait.

A number of drivers said they had given up and abandoned their vehicles to catch public transport.

One man affected by the chaos was so put off driving into the City Centre today that he opted to use public transport for fear of a repeat incident.

Speaking to the Evening Times, Stuart Forsyth described how he was stuck in the car park for almost an hour as one frustrated motorists took control amid the chaos.

The 39-year-old, from Garthamlock, said: “I was trying to leave the car park just after 5.30pm.

“Before I even got into the car, I could see the traffic was queueing to get out. When I got into the car, nothing moved.

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“The traffic creeped down the ramp at a snail’s pace and would stop again for about 10 minutes.

“People were getting frustrated, turning their engines off and some were getting out of their cars to try to find out what was going on from the guys in the car park office.

“It took ages to get to ground level then another 10 minutes at the barrier.

“When I finally got to the junction at Duke Street, I could see there were temporary lights and the traffic was queued back.

“There was actually a guy - just a member of the public - directing the traffic out. When the lights went red, and there was no-one coming, he was just shouting: ‘On you go! On you go!’. I just can’t believe it took an hour to get out of a car park.

“I thought about just leaving my car, getting a bite to eat and then coming back after it cleared, but I eventually got out.

“I got the bus in today. I wasn’t sure if it would all have been sorted or not.”

A council spokeswoman added that the problem was down to temporary traffic lights put in place by SGN.

She said police were drafted in to allow motorists to leave the car park and said the council would be seeking answers from the gas authority.

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The Evening Times has contacted Police Scotland for comment.

Today, SGN spokesman Waseem Hanif said: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience our work in Duke Street, at the junction with John Knox Street, may have caused motorists trying to exit the multi-storey car park.

“In consultation with the local authority, we’re carrying out essential work to upgrade our gas network and we needed to install temporary traffic lights to ensure everyone’s safety around our work area.

“From today, we’ll be manually operating the lights until 7pm every day to help manage traffic flow.

“All being well, we expect to complete this phase of work and safely remove our traffic lights by Friday, January 18.”

He added: “As part of this project, we’re also working in Duke Street between Melbourne Street and John Knox Street and have needed to close the inside lane of Duke Street between these junctions for safety.

“We hope to remove these lane restrictions by Friday, January 25.”