CAMPAIGNERS held roadside protests at two congestion hotspots they fear will suffer endless gridlock if plans for hundreds of new houses go ahead.

About 30 members of Rayleigh Action Group waved placards at the junctions of Rawreth Lane, and Hullbridge Road, and London Road, and Victoria Avenue, Rayleigh, to protest at plans for 1,379 new homes around Rayleigh, Rawreth and Hullbridge.

Drivers face rush hour waits of more than an hour at the key arteries and campaigners fear new homes with no transport improvements will worsen delays.

Organiser Linda Kendall, 66, who regularly waits for at least five minutes to exit Lubbards Close, where she lives, on to Rawreth Lane due to traffic, said: “The response from drivers was absolutely amazing.

“People were hooting, saying something needs to be done. They said it had taken them an hour to get there from Wickford, five miles away.

“This is people coming home from work. It’s taking them an hour to get out of Hullbridge in the morning and an hour-and-ahalf in the evening to get back.”

A total of 2,7850 homes are planned for Rochford district under the local authority’s “local plan”.

The action group claims 1,379 of them, earmarked for between London Road and Rawreth Lane, Rayleigh, land off Hullbridge Road and Rawreth Industrial Estate, will use the two junctions at which they held protests.

Mrs Kendall, who is leading a judicial review against the local plan allocation, said: “It will be a nightmare for everyone in our district.

“It’s not going to get better – it’s only going to get worse if you put more cars on the road.

“We have got ten years of major construction lorries on these roads.”

A Rochford District Council spokeswoman said: “The council worked closely with Essex County Council – the highway authority for the area – in drawing up our plans and policies for new development.

“The allocations plan we have in place requires applicants to undertake transport assessments at the planning application stage and for highway improvements to be provided alongside new development.

“The allocations plan is now subject to a legal challenge and, as such, the council is not able to comment further until the case is determined.”