MOTORISTS could soon get some relief from delays in the heart of Rayleigh as new measures to tackle traffic congestion are planned.

Rochford District Council says a new traffic management scheme could be introduced to the town centre, to allow cars to get through quicker.

The plans come after Essex County Council approved six highways projects in Rochford, to be completed over the next 12 months, at a cost of £114,900.

The schemes include new signage on the eastbound off-slip on the A127, at Rayleigh Weir, paving over verges in Thames Close, Rayleigh, and the reconstruction of the eastern pavement along Hullbridge Road.

But Colin Seagers, chairman of the Rochford local highways panel, said a plan to match up traffic lights on Crown Hill and High Street is also being hatched.

A report is being put together looking at the feasibility of the project, and is expected to be presented to the panel on Thursday, June 26.

Mr Seagers said: “The issue at the moment is there are several pedestrian crossings, quite close to each other, which operate in different ways.

“Some are controlled by traffic lights and some do not have them. This causes congestion because of their stop-go nature.

“What we want to do is get all the crossings beating to the same drum, so it gets cars moving more fluently. I think this is a project which will have major benefits.”

Eddie Dray, the new Rayleigh town council chairman, said: “I would support any plan to ease congestion, but we have to think about pedestrians and strike a balance to keep both groups happy.”

Jamie Burton, chairman of the Bird’s Estate Residents’ Association and Ukip councillor for Grange ward, also welcomed the idea. He said: “Congestion deters people from visiting the town centre, shopping locally and subsequently supporting our local economy.”