GASWORKS have forced the northbound closure of Rochford Road in Southend from the A127 - a key route leading to Southend Airport.

The closure has been in place since Monday.

Now, the gas company undertaking the works - Cadent - has written to residents giving an update. 

The first phase of gas main improvement works took place in Hobleythick Lane and are linked to the plan to improve traffic flow at the Bell junction on the A127. 

They say this second phase of the work in Rochford Road involves digging a series of excavations in the footpath and the road. The company says it doesn't expect gas supplies to be affected at this time. 

Excavations to determine medium and low pressure gas mains have taken place so far.

A trench was dug out for work on the low pressure gas main yesterday and this weekend. Overall, this will take a week to complete in readiness to lay new low pressure gas mains. 

A third phase of work would involve gas main diversions in Rochford Road and Prince Avenue. Bosses say they will write to residents with more details. 

Bosses say they are doing everything they can to minimise disruption and thank motorists for their co-operation and patience during the "essential work".