The main traffic lights on the A3020, St Georges Way in the centre of Newport were out of action for three hours on Monday morning, right in the middle of rush hour. As the traffic lights cycled endlessly between red, amber and green, the local shop owners and residents were out in force to watch them.
Such was the ensuing chaos, it took the police nearly forty minutes to get to the scene and start getting the traffic moving.
"It was awful," said Gwyneth Goodheart, 29, who runs Pets With Heart on Holyrood Street. "I was sat in stationary traffic for over quarter of an hour, I've never known anything like it. I had chinchillas that needed feeding!"
There has not been such confusion on Newport's roads since traffic lights were first installed in 1982, when many of the locals were amazed at how they changed colour.
One local resident, Jonathan Inkwell, 39, was close to snapping. "I was close to snapping," he explained. "I'd come in from Cowes, and that's a bad drive on the best of days, taking me ten minutes, but on Monday it took me twenty! How could the council let the lights get into this state?"
Newport Council leader, Jeremy Huddlestone was apologetic. "Both sets of lights on the island get regular routine maintenance, but Jeff was ill over the weekend, and couldn't get out to the lights to make sure they were working. To stop this happening again, we'll have Jeff train somebody up in case he is absent."