Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Sadlers Farm gridlock as junction shuts
POLICE had to be called to Sadlers Farm after contractors caused chaos on the roundabout.
Motorists saw red on Wednesday night after being stuck in nose-to-tail jams when two major areas of Sadlers Farm were closed to traffic.
The new bypass, linking the A130 with the London-bound A13, has been closed this week between 9pm and 5am due to ongoing roadworks, forcing drivers travelling between the two roads to use the main roundabout.
However, on Wednesday, workers closed almost the entire roundabout, leaving drivers with nowhere to go.
Hundreds of cars stood stationary for more than two hours, before police came to move traffic.
A 49-year-old motorist, from Broadway, in Thorpe Bay, said: “It was absolute chaos last night because we just couldn’t go anywhere.
“The only exit open was the A130 to Chelmsford – everywhere else was closed so everyone was bottlednecked around the roundabout to go back towards the A127.
“We didn’t move for two hours – not even an inch.
“In the end, it was so bad, the police had to come. About seven officers stood and overrode the traffic lights.”
He added: “I think this thing has been one big fiasco from day one. It seems like everything is so badly organised, and especially now they know they have missed another deadline, they probably just think to hell with the trouble they are causing.”
Yesterday, Essex County Council bosses said they would hold crisis talks with contractor Birse on Monday to discuss poor management of the scheme and when it is likely to be completed.
Angela Mitchell, 52, of Leigh Road, Benfleet, said: “My daughter was stuck in the traffic and she said it was dreadful. “She was so frightened, because everyone was shouting and swearing, bibbing their horns and even abandoning their cars.
“In the end I rang the police.”
An Essex Police spokesman said they were contacted shortly before 10.30pm following reports of faulty traffic lights. He added: “Officers found the lights were not faulty. Motorists were ignoring them.
“Officers stayed at the scene for nearly two hours to maintain traffic flow and closed several roads to ease congestion. The police helicopter flew over the area several times. All roads were fully open by 12.30am.”
Derrick Louis, county councillor responsible for highways and transportation, said: “I’d like to apologise for the disruption. I would like to reassure drivers we have taken steps to prevent this situation happening again.”