Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Tarpots traffic turmoil seems to be at an end
MOTORISTS and traders breathed a collective sigh of relief as traffic chaos at a busy Benfleet intersection now appears to be at an end.
Drivers suffered huge tailbacks last Friday as new traffic lights at Tarpots roundabout, linking London Road, High Road and Rushbottom Lane, in Benfleet, were finally bought online after weeks of delays.
The £120,000 roadworks scheme, which has seen the removal of the infamous double mini roundabouts, began in March and were due to last seven weeks, but did not become operational until last week. Queues extended as far back as Basildon on the Southend-bound A13 on Friday after the lights were switched on, and residents reported heavy congestion through the area all weekend.
However, traffic along London Road appeared to ease during yesterday morning’s rush hour.
One woman, who works at Tarpots Newsagents, but did not want to be named, said: “Everything seems to have been running fine today.
“It’s not been too bad at all. It was really clear all morning, which is good news for us because it has been really bad in the last few weeks.”
James Millard, 31, who works at JD Cycles, on the Tarpots junction, said: “It has been a bit quiet up here, everything appeared to be moving well enough, but you just don’t know if that is because people are still avoiding the area.”
However, motorists still experienced some queuing in High Road, claiming the traffic lights made it more difficult for drivers trying to turn left towards Sadlers Farm.
A 45-year-old motorist, of High Road, Benfleet, who did not want to be named, said: “Everything seems to be working alright along London Road, which is great for them, but if you live in High Road it’s still terrible. The queues were quite long this morning.
“Some people have even been using the Tesco car park as a cut through to avoid the traffic lights completely, which cannot be very safe. I suppose we just have to give them time to get the lights properly phased and timed, hopefully it will be better after that.”
Works at the junction overran due to a gas leak, a separate water leak and the knock-on effect after delays to the Sadlers Farm roadworks, which are being conducted by the same contractor, Birse.