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Concerns for safety as Canvey access road could be closed for rail repairs in Benfleet
10:30am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
Canvey residents fear they will be trapped on the island over the holidays as one of the two access roads to the mainland could be closed for railway repairs.
Concerns have been raised Ferry Road could be closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve while the work is carried out, leaving the island’s 40,000 residents with only one other route, the A130 Canvey Way, off.
Bosses at c2c said the repairs were timetabled at this time to minimise disruption to commuters.
However residents fear the roads on Canvey will become gridlocked as people look to visit their families over the festive season.
Dot Palmer, 65, Linden Way, Canvey, said: “I have relatives over the other side of that bridge in Benfleet that I wanted to visit over the holidays, but now I’ll have to go all the way round through Sadlers and Bowers Gifford.
“The roads will just be so congested because everyone will be looking to get away. What happens if something bad happens like the gas terminals go up, or there’s an accident on Canvey Way, we’ll all be trapped here.”
Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party says this highlights the growing need for a third road off Canvey, which the opposition party has been campaigning for since 2003.
He said: “Fair enough they have to do the work but it’s going to put Canvey in a real predicament, especially over Christmas. There only needs to be one crash on Canvey Way and everyone will be stuck.
“Canvey is so populated now, how do they expect 40,000 people to use one road? We have been campaigning for a third road for years, and we are desperate for it now, especially if we’ve got another 700 homes coming.”
Essex County Council could neither confirm nor deny whether Ferry Road would need to be closed for the work to take place.
A spokesperson from the authority said: “Due to the bridge being in service for over 100 years, a full reconstruction is required. A schedule for the works is currently being considered in partnership with Network Rail and others.
"Any works will be conducted with the minimum amount of disruption possible.”