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Tories praise Sadlers Farm improvements
THE Sadlers Farm improvements have been praised by councillors who say motorists are now reaping the benefits.
The £63m scheme at one of Essex’s busiest junctions has been dogged by delays and its finishing touches have been delayed until after the Olympics.
Traffic is now moving more freely and contractors are temporarily leaving the site.
Tories Norman Smith, Godfrey Issaacs and Ray Howard have gone out of their way to lavish praise on the scheme. Mr Isaacs told a Castle Point Council cabinet meeting: “This council and Essex County Council have had so much bad press on a scheme that will change this borough.
“No one could have planned for the weather and the problems it caused at Sadlers Farm. “Yes there will be teething problems, but it’s an excellent scheme. It’s not a case of there’s no movement there. Traffic is moving and it’s a good project which deserves praise rather than criticism.”
Mr Howard, who is also one of the county councillors responsible for highways, said: “All senior officers are endeavouring to resolve these matters. I’m not an expert, but you can’t lay tar when the weather conditions aren’t suitable.
“Nevertheless, I never stopped at all on my journey back here today to Thundersley from County Hall.” Mr Smith said the improvements were “fantastic for the borough.”
The comments come in the face of Echo reports the Olympic Delivery Authority and the county council knew months ago the work would not be finished this spring, as had been promised.
As well as motorists stuck in jams, traders in the immediate area say their turnover has been slashed since the roadworks started.
Jason White, 39, of JD Cycles, in London Road, Benfleet , said the councillors’ comments were “laughable”.
He said: “That’s a joke!
“They’re just trying to take the heat off and stop people moaning, but we’re not complaining for the fun of it.
“If it was going to be fantastic and solve all our problems, I would be the first one to admit it, but it won’t make a difference to anyone down here.”