A KEY route in Westcliff will close for three days to allow for improvement works at an A127 junction.

From Saturday through to the early hours of Monday, Hobleythick Lane will be completely closed up to the Bell Junction.

Electricity distribution company UKPN will be laying new cables across the road, with a diversion in place via Prittlewell Chase and the A127 Victoria Avenue to Cuckoo Corner Roundabout.

After this, from next Monday until Friday, December 13, the northbound lane (towards the A127) on Hobleythick Lane will be closed off from Midhurst Avenue up to The Bell junction traffic lights, while gas pipe diversion works are undertaken.

The work will consist of digging up the footway and re-routing the gas pipes.

It forms part of the future £5 million Bell junction improvement works agreed by Southend Council last year.

Vehicles will still be able to turn left onto Prince Avenue, straight ahead onto Rochford Road and right onto Prince Avenue.

Bus routes for Arriva - the number seven and number eight services - will not be diverted. However, the bus stop on Hobleythick Lane will be suspended while works take place.

Peter Geraghty, director of planning and transport at Southend Council, said: “The improvements are part of our continued work to ensure we keep traffic flowing and the economy growing.

“We have a rapidly expanding airport and work progressing well on the construction of the Airport Business Park, so we need to plan for traffic levels.

“In August, Cadent carried out a number of checks on the underground pipes to better prepare for when the works begin, and following those inspections, have highlighted specific pipes.

“We apologise in advance for any disruption. These works are vital to our plans for enhancing The Bell junction.”