Watch as kind-hearted man spends hours directing traffic after broken lights cause chaos in Derbyshire town

A Derbyshire man has been praised for standing in the cold and directing traffic after broken lights caused gridlock in a Derbyshire town.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 1:27 pm

Ripley was left gridlocked after a set of temporary traffic lights all turned red at around at morning rush hour last week.

Mat McGregor, 28, was walking home from the gym when he noticed that traffic was at a complete standstill on Hartshay Hill.

He said: “Back in August, my stepfather passed away and I was stood at the end of the road as the ambulance was leaving. There were temporary traffic lights and I felt completely helpless, wishing I could do something more.

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Mat’s brother is hoping that he will be nominated for a community award.

“He’d had a heart attack and needed life-saving treatment and I watched the ambulance as it tried to fight its way through the traffic.

“I just thought I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else - that feeling is horrible.”

Mat, an army reservist dog handler, then spent two hours directing traffic before the lights were fixed. He even guided an ambulance through the gridlock and said he was happy if he had helped just one person.

“Everybody’s got somewhere to be, somebody could be on their way to something really important.

Mat spent two hours helping to alleviate the gridlock that had hit Ripley.

"I don’t know everyone’s individual circumstances, but if I managed to help anyone, I’ll see that as a success.”

Mat’s brother Rafe said that the situation could have deteriorated drastically if Mat had not been there and that he hoped he would be recognised for keeping Ripley moving.

“Mat’s got a tendency to want to help people, if he sees someone in distress he’ll jump in without a second thought.

“It would be good for Mat to get some recognition because it was freezing cold, he had nothing but the tracksuit on his back, and he persisted for so long.

Mat said his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training helped him to spring into action.

“That situation could’ve been a lot worse if Mat wasn’t there, and Ripley would’ve been a total mess until someone else turned up.”

Mat added: “I want to give credit to my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team, Alliance Derby. They’ve helped me see that everything negative can be turned into a positive and have inspired us all to help where we can.”