FOLLOWING last week's traffic chaos, an Isle of Wight councillor has warned a simple signal failure could bring emergency services to a standstill.

Traffic on the Island was gridlocked last Thursday (July 4) morning, with two-hour delays reported on main routes between Ryde, East Cowes and Newport.

Cllr Michael Lilley raised safety concerns about the delays at a council scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday (July 9).

He said: "When the lights failed people were actually stuck on the roads on the Island for two or three hours.

"On a small island there was risk fire engines and ambulances actually couldn't get through parts of the traffic.

"It went right back, some people left at 7.30am and rolled in at 10am.

"We are in real danger with the infrastructure when, if something really simple goes like a light, we come to a standstill.

"I think it's something that needs to be reviewed because it is extremely scary."

Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, said in that case, he was looking forward to Cllr Lilley's support for the Medina Bridge plans, which would provide another link between East and West Cowes.

Cllr Stewart also praised the Cowes floating bridge, which he said transported 1,000 vehicles that day.

It was suggested emergency vehicles could, if necessary, have used the floating bridge. However, some councillors questioned what would happen when it was out of service.

Cllr Stewart said: "We inherited something we had to work with and we've worked with it and are comfortable now with getting it good and reliable.

"There are a few more changes and then we are hoping we will be in a place where we can say it's good and it's working."

He said the floating bridge was currently 94 per cent reliable, based on figures since July last year, and that a lot of people who criticise the floating bridge have actually used it.

John Metcalfe, council chief executive, said ambulances and fire services would always be plugged into developments on the Island to ensure they could deal with any issues.