COMMUTERS from Canvey could face long delays as a result of a one-way system at Benfleet station, it is claimed.

From Friday cars will be unable to turn to turn right from the mini-roundabout to enter the station, instead looping round via School Lane and Station Road.

The temporary system, which could last 18 months, is being introduced to improve safety, particularly for pedestrians, as well as easing congestion.

But Canvey commuters fear they will now have to queue to get off the island, and then queue to loop around the station before they can enter.

John Palmer, of Canvey, said: “I get the train every morning from the station into London, and everyone knows it is far from ideal at the station. It can be very chaotic.

“But this doesn’t seem to be the answer to me. As it is, we sit in traffic coming off the island, now we are going to have to sit in traffic looping around Benfleet and past the station.

“It seems to me that the one way system, is going the way, for people coming from Canvey it would make much more sense if you went right from the mini-roundabout.”

Taxi firm, ABC Taxis, based next to Benfleet station, raised concerns that Canvey traffic “will become even worse”.

A spokesman said: “Getting off Canvey will become even worse as most traffic from High Street will turn right toward the high road. Essex way will become congested. Surely the answer should be a red route “no stopping at peak times” on the high street adjacent to the station?”

Canvey Island Independent Party Councillor, Peter May, who also represents Castle Point at county council level, admitted he had concerns, but pointed towards ongoing safety issues.

He said: “If I have it right, they will have to go up by the pub and turn right at the car park, and loop right the way around.

“There is a lot of traffic surrounding the station as it is, and I understand resident concerns that they will queue off the island, and then sit in this loop of traffic, rather than taking a right into the station.

“The thing is, and the reason why it is experimental, is that there are a lot of safety concerns surrounding the area, and there have been a number of near misses at the station.

“As always there will be concerns, but there are issues which need to be dealt with.” The trial will make the road outside the Southend bound station entrance one way.