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Storms cause major traffic light outages across Sydney

Wild weather has thrown Sydney roads into chaos with widespread traffic light outages across the city.

The New South Wales Roads and Maritime Service road users handbook is unclear about what to do if you face broken traffic lights that are flashing amber. 

Daily Mail Australia has sought advice from road traffic barrister and university law lecturer Nic Angelov on what you should do when the lights go out.

‘You can’t just stop and wait until someone fixes the traffic lights,’ Mr Angelov told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Angelov said motorists should behave as if it is an intersection controlled by a stop sign.

First you should stop, especially if there is an unbroken line painted across the road, or a red stop sign with three black dots on it.

Secondly, look around to see if there is any danger.

If it is safe to proceed, then proceed with caution through the intersection.

‘You must give way as though the intersection didn’t have any traffic lights,’ Mr Angelov said.

While that often means you must give way to the right, it depends on the intersection.

‘For example, if it’s a T-intersection and you are turning right, and you are on the road that terminates at the T, then you must give way both to the right and the left,’ Mr Angelov said.  

A record-breaking 400mm of rain hammered the Harbour City over the weekend, flooding roads and uprooting trees. 

The severe storm also sent power companies scrambling on Sunday night as more than 150,000 homes across Sydney were thrown into darkness. 

The power issues also wreaked havoc to the transport system with red and yellow traffic lights flashing late on Sunday night and during the peak-hour commute on Monday morning.

The busy Whitlam Square intersection in central Sydney had traffic light outages as motorists attempted to make their way through to Oxford, Liverpool, College streets and Wentworth Ave. 

There severe weather was being blamed for outages from Mascot through to the CBD, Bondi and Emu Heights. 

Traffic lights in Surry Hills were due to fallen trees, according to the New South Wales Transport spokesman said. 

Lights in Mascot were flashing yellow after a two-car crash, the website said. 

The weather caused major disruptions to Sydney’s public transport system prompting calls from the State Emergency Services for workers to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel. 

‘It is inherently dangerous to be driving through water,’ SES Assistant Commissioner Paul Bailey told the ABC on Monday morning.

‘There will be areas of water, especially people driving in the Sydney area, driving to work. On those kerbside lanes, there’s still lots of water in the areas that hasn’t gone away.

‘So, we are asking people to be very careful as they drive to work. And this might be one of the days that, if you can work from home, that would be a good way to do it.’

Commuters were also hampered by delays to public transport on Monday. 

Train stations were clogged with hundreds of frustrated people trying to make their way into work after a landslip significantly delayed peak-hour services on Sydney’s train network. 

Trains on the T1 north shore line were heavily delayed, with buses replacing trains between Gordon and North Sydney shortly after 6am.

Train services resumed after 7.30am but were very slow. 

The chaos worsened as commuters at the Hornsby junction line, waiting for an alternative T9 northern line service, were stranded for more than half an hour without a train to the city.

A Central-bound service via Strathfield was repeatedly delayed at 7.40am with a train driver telling commuters over a loud speaker he didn’t know where the train was going.

The confusion worsened with commuters told the train would instead be heading north to Berowra instead of the city.

It took another 25 minutes for a city-bound train to arrive.

The closure came as the wharf in Parramatta was overcome by floodwaters, with the level of the suburb’s river surging during the rainstorm. 

The North Shore Line has also been experiencing major delays due to a landslip at Artarmon. Those travelling on the Sydney Metro between Macquarie Park and Chatswood will have to take replacement buses instead. 

Ferry services were also cancelled due to large swells between Manly and Circular Quay.


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