A TEN-mile bypass would be the “only solution” to Southend’s traffic woes when Blues’ new stadium and hundreds of new homes are built.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of Southend Council, touted the idea of a relief road from Warner’s Bridge to Tesco on the A127, but opposition leaders fear it would “not solve major traffic concerns”.

Kevin Buck, Tory transport spokesman, has insisted plans for a bypass from Bournes Green Chase, in Shoebury, to the A130 at the South Woodham Ferrers would have a much greater impact.

The bypass could cost in the region of £200million. Mr Buck said the time had come to make a decision and that should go hand-in-hand with Fossetts Farm plans, which include the stadium and hundreds of homes

He said: “There’s been no confirmed plans for the relief road or where the funding is. It’s a 12,000-seater stadium, most weekends there will be complete gridlock there.

“It won’t work, it won’t solve the problem of traffic on the roads.

“The only solution would be the bypass. It would free up the whole of the east of Southend and Rayleigh.

“The bypass won’t go through homes, and will loop through Rochford’s fields. It will help traffic there too. Homes won’t need to be demolished.

“If we get the relief road, the bypass won’t happen. They won’t get Government funding for both. It will cost around £20million per mile. That’s only a rough estimate at this stage.”

The proposed relief road could connect from Warner’s Bridge to Nestuda Way, and then to the roundabout at Tesco Extra on the A127.

The relief road was pitched to fix tailbacks on Priory Crescent and Sutton Road - which could get worse once the stadium and homes are built.

Council bosses will meet today to discuss the stadium and homes plan.

Mr Woodley said: “To say a bypass is the only solution is a stupid statement. We’ve got water around us, the road will take us into the North Sea. We have a problem with traffic from east to west, there’s no doubt about it. A relief road will solve it. Officers are looking at pinch-points.”