LAHORE - ­Motorists on Tuesday experienced the worst kind of traffic mess in Lahore as police blocked several major roads for the PSL cricket match as part of security measures.

The search and combing operations launched by police around Qaddafi Stadium and The Mall multiplied people’s miseries after late night raids and strict security searches.

Thousands of motorists were seen trapped in traffic jumbles for hours as authorities closed down some very busy roads around the stadium to facilitate cricket fans. The police, during the movement of cricket teams from hotel to stadium, blocked both sides of The Mall and Canal Road. The situation aggravated when traffic officers diverted the flow of vehicular traffic towards already packed roads.

There was bumper to bumper traffic on the Canal Road near Jinnah Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Multan Road, Wahdat Road, Jail Road and Ferozepur Road. Also, motorists were seen trapped in hours-long traffic jumbles in Garhi Shahu, Iqbal Town, Misri Shah, Baghbanpura, Mughalpura, Faisal Town, Johar Town and Sabzazar areas.

Many people faced difficulties in shifting patients to public hospitals amid roadblocks and traffic mess. A car-rider said that he left his office in hurry soon after he came to know the serious condition of his mother. “It took me at least four hours to reach Johar Town from Choburji Chowk. Many roads were blocked and the police were diverting the heavy flow of traffic towards already packed streets,” he said and protested over the poor traffic management.

Ahmad Yasin, a resident of Gowalmandi said that he remained trapped in traffic for more than three hours. He said that he had to experience the worst traffic mess in Mozang, Samanabad and Qila Gujjar Singh areas. He also complained that traffic officers failed to clear the snarl-up for hours.

Verbal clashes were reported between motorists and traffic wardens at some busy crossings when the police blocked the roads with the help of containers and other heavy vehicles.

A motorcyclist, Mustafa, said it took him more than two hours to reach Anarkali from Faisal Town. Normally, he covers this distance within 40 minutes, he said. According to him, a few ambulances were also seen stuck in the traffic jumbles near Jinnah Hospital.

For security reasons, police also shut down some markets and shops located within a radius of three kilometres from the Qaddafi Stadium. The officers suspended the flow of traffic on Ferozepur Road (from Muslim Town More to Kalma Chowk and on the Main Boulevard in Gulberg (from Hafeez Centre to Kalma Chowk). Similarly, the police blocked a portion of busy The Mall during the movement of players and diverted the traffic towards congested localities. Also, hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses remained closed throughout the day around Qaddafi Stadium, Liberty Market, Hafeez Centre and Siddique Trade Centre.

A senior traffic officer said that hundreds of wardens were deployed on all major roads to guide motorists to alternative routes.

He said the city traffic police department launched a media campaign and urged motorists to use alternatives routes during the PSL matches.