HM Government has noted the build-up of vehicular frontier queues during last week which have affected traffic flows along Devil’s Tower Road. The Government fully accepts and understands that all tailbacks are hugely inconvenient to the general public, in particular for those who are not heading to Spain. Having said that, it is worth noting that a treaty between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the future relationship of Gibraltar would eliminate those delays and tailbacks entirely by eliminating the controls that create them. This remains the preferred option of the Government.
Even though the extra long weekend will have contributed to the increased traffic flows heading to the frontier last week, a review has been conducted of the existing traffic management arrangements deployed since Kingsway came into use a month ago. Arising from this, the traffic management plans have been revised and expanded with the aim of adding holding capacity north of Kingsway roundabout and avoiding frontier queues impacting upon Devil’s Tower Road.
The current plan of having lane separation along Kingsway with one lane dedicated to frontier access and one lane kept clear for access to the Air Terminal, Four Corners, Eroski, Western Beach and Emergency Vehicles will continue to be deployed as a first stage. Vehicles will be allowed to queue inside the tunnel along the frontier access lane thus increasing holding capacity.
Should the frontier queue continue to build up, the second stage of the plan will be implemented involving having both northbound lanes along Kingsway assigned to frontier traffic. These two lanes will continue all the way along past the East gate roundabout and the Air Terminal up to the frontier. In this scenario, vehicles will however not be allowed to queue inside the tunnel and will be batched through. In parallel with this, a contraflow will be implemented along the southbound lanes all the way between Kingsway roundabout and the frontier roundabout in order to continue providing clear access to the Air Terminal, Four Corners, Eroski, Western Beach and for Emergency Vehicles. This contraflow will need to be managed when it traverses the tunnel section so as to always be in control of emergency response access inside the tunnel should this be required.
It is envisaged that the revised traffic management plans will provide sufficient capacity to deal with frontier queues but should these build up even beyond this, then a third stage will come into effect involving assigning a single lane down Devil’s Tower Road for frontier traffic.
The public is asked to be attentive to the signage and traffic management measures when in the Devil’s Tower Road / Kingsway area and follow the directions provided by traffic officers.