The controversial £7million Victoria Gateway junction could be scrapped, less than ten years after it was completed.

Southend Council faced fierce opposition when it removed a roundabout at the junction and ripped out 22 mature trees to create a traffic light-controlled T-junction in 2011.

A large open shared space was created, guiding people between Southend Victoria station and the High Street, but criticism has grown over lengthy waits some motorists face at the busy junction.

Now Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, says he wants to scrap the scheme entirely and draw up new plans for the vital artery into the town centre.

He said: “Everyone knows it doesn’t work.

“It’s pathetic and has been since it was put in.

“With Queensway plans coming through it would be a good opportunity to re-evaluate this junction. We could engage with Swan Housing to come up with a strategy so that it all flows through Queensway.

“It needs to be better organised. At the moment it is outside the Queensway project scope but I have said we need to include that to make sure the highway flows and we have got to make sure we get it right.”

Asked if the junction might be tweaked to make it more workable, Mr Woodley added: “No, it needs to go. I intend to make sure Victoria Gateway flows properly because at the moment we all know that it doesn’t.

“It is a failed project by a previous administration and it needs a major rethink.”

The scheme was funded by a £25million government grant which also financed the Cuckoo Corner and City Beach improvements.

The Southend Taxi Drivers’ Association welcomed the news. Chairman Mark Jennings said: “It has never worked. They got £25million funding and ran around like headless chickens trying to find something to spend it on.

They gave no thought to the fact that if it ain’t broke it don’t need fixing. It should go back to being a roundabout.

”The only problem with the roundabout was the traffic light phasing at Short Street. it wasn’t phased right and caused jams at rush hours but if they altered that, it would be fine.

Mr Jennings also backed calls for the deeping, which once linked the Victoria Gateway roundabout with Southchurch Road, to be reopened.

He said: “They should open the deeping up and make it one way, as it was, with speed bumps to stop it becoming a rat run.”

Part of the scheme which replaced the 50-year-old roundabout includes a shared space where kerbs, road signs and other barriers are removed, allowing motorists and pedestrians effectively use the same area. The layout also proved controversial, with many questioning its safety. It has also attracted criticism for being a lure for skateboarding youngsters.