Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Gridlock as work on Benfleet railway bridge gets underway
MOTORISTS suffered long delays as preparations got underway for the installation of a new railway bridge in Benfleet.
Ferry Road, one of only two roads linking Canvey to the mainland, could be closed while the 100-year-old railway bridge is replaced between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve as part of a major maintenance program by Network Rail.
However, islanders fear they could be trapped over the festive period as Canvey’s 40,000 residents would only be able use Canvey Way to get on and off the island.
In what seemed like an omen of things to come, drivers had to contend with long delays after one lane in Ferry Road was closed yesterday as contractors delivered scaffolding to the site in preparation for the works.
To prevent gridlock, proposals have been forward to open a private road from Northwick Road, Canvey to Pitsea Railway Station, and create a temporary access road from Ferry Road to High Road in Benfleet, allowing drivers to travel over the railway tracks.
Now Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris has written to c2c and Essex County Council urging them to back the idea for a great escape route off Canvey.
She said: “The queues yesterday just underline what disruption the works could cause after Christmas. It is very important that emergency vehicles are able to get on and off the island quickly and that we don’t get any jams that snarl up the rest of Canvey while the works are going on.
“These relief roads are a very sensible way of allowing that to happen and I will continue to push for them along with councillor Ray Howard on behalf of residents.”
Bosses at Network Rail told the Echo last week they would consider opening the roads in the event of an emergency.
Comments are closed on this article.