FURY has erupted after four major roadworks schemes are being conducted on the A13 by five different authorities at the same time.
Frustrated motorists travelling along the Southend-bound carriageway were taken through four separate diversion routes last week as work was ongoing at four junctions on the busy dual carriageway.
Essex County Council is still carrying out the £63million remodelling of Sadlers Farm causing local road closures and is also creating a new £10million junction at Stanford-le-Hope.
However, works are also being carried out at the junction between the M25 and A13 by Thurrock Council, the Highways Agency was undertaking a litterpick along the A13, and Transport for London was undertaking roadworks at the Ripple Road junction.
Drivers have criticised highways agencies accusing them of poor management allowing all four projects to overlap.
Derek Oliver, of Essex Way, Benfleet, said: “Driving back to Benfleet after a dinner event in London, I reached the Beckton Flyover and commented to my passengers that it would only be a half hour before we got home. That was a serious mistake.
“Are we, the A13 users, just unlucky? In a show of great ability to coordinate, I think somebody is trying to get the award for the most dug-up road in England. We must have seriously upset someone for them to be so vindictive.
“All in all, our 30 minute journey took over an hour.”
Essex County Council announced this week it hopes Sadlers Farm will be completed at the end of January.
The roadworks at Stanford-le-Hope, which will see a new, three-lane roundabout, with traffic lights and a sliproad, from The Manorway on to the A13, are expected to be completed next October.
An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “Where ECC highways works are considered to have a potential impact on traffic in other areas, we will always liaise closely with neighbouring highways authorities to ensure disruption is minimised as much as possible.”
A Highways Agency spokesperson said: “We always do our best to keep disruption caused by roadworks to an absolute minimum, and carry out the majority of our roadworks overnight, when traffic flows are lowest.
“Where diversions are needed, we agree them in advance with the relevant emergency services and local highway authorities.
“We publish live traffic information 24 hours a day – this information is also shared with traffic information providers across the country to give drivers the best possible opportunity to check conditions before setting out on a journey.”