The Welsh Government has so far spent more than £300,000 maintaining a set of temporary traffic lights for over four years, it has emerged.
The signals were installed on the A483 trunk road near Cynghordy, Carmarthenshire, when the condition of the supporting embankment caused a short section of one side of the road to fail.
The lights have (easily) made it onto Google Street View
More than four years later, they are still in place.
The Welsh Government has disclosed that the total cost of operating the temporary traffic lights since July 2012 had reached £299,912 by June this year. This included a monthly charge of £3,981 for hire, maintenance and daily checks of the equipment.
Asked why repairs had taken so long, a Government spokesman responded: ‘This is due to a combination of funding priorities and arrangements to access third party land, both of which have now been resolved.’
Works are due to commence on site during this financial year and the Government aims to remove the signals next summer.
Tim Shallcross, head of policy for Wales at motoring organisation IAM RoadSmart, said: ‘We have to accept that road repairs sometimes involve getting access to farmers’ land at the side of the road, and that can be difficult.
‘But if the operation of traffic lights is that expensive, then surely there’s a clear financial case for Welsh Government to escalate it up the priority list. The A483 is one of the major roads from North to South Wales. It’s not a by-road that’s used once a week.’
Mr Shallcross said delays at the lights did not help tourism or commerce in the region.