A MULTI-BILLION pound Government war chest to invest in major infrastructure schemes could finally kickstart plans for a new bypass to ease Southend traffic, Tory leaders say.

Southend’s full council will this week consider calls from Conservative councillors to press for cash from the Government’s “levelling up” fund to tackle the town’s jam-packed roads.

The blueprint for a new bypass was first suggested by former MP Sir Teddy Taylor 20 years ago but Southend Tories are now stepping up pressure for action as the town’s roads struggle to cope with the volume of traffic.

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Conservative councillors are calling it a new Shoebury bypass to connect the east of the town to the north of the River Crouch.

However, they admit they have no agreement on a specific route nor how much such a huge scheme would cost.

Dan Nelson, shadow cabinet member for community safety, said: “It could be from the Bournes Green roundabout or North Shoebury Road near to Asda over to Maldon north of the River Crouch.

“It will take a long time to come to fruition and we have no idea about costs yet as it’s too early.

“Nobody had the guts to do this in the past and we need to talk to Government and get plans in place.

“Anyone east of the town knows how hard it is to get to the other side.

“It will help spread out tourists and get more business into Shoebury as well and help get people into north Essex and Chelmsford.”

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Kevin Buck, Tory transport spokesman, said a debate was taking place over a proposed route for a new bypass.

He said: “It seems more logical to me but I think it’s good that we consider several routes.

“The bypass will help alleviate the A127 congestion and also you can draw a perfect arc without touching any properties.

“It will create better access to people in east Shoebury and Rochford to other parts of Essex.

“It will also help solve other infrastructure issues with large developments across the borough.”

Critics say the plan would cut through swathes of land outside of public ownership if it was ever to get off the ground.

Tony Cox, Southend Tory leader said: “Regarding ownership of the land it usually goes via compulsory purchase orders or working with the land owner and this is no different to other roads so I expect it’ll be the same.”