A NOTORIOUS traffic bottleneck near Southend Airport could be set for a huge overhaul as part of a £15m bid for Government cash to tackle problematic pinch points.

Southend Council has revealed its ambitious traffic-busting plans as part of a £55m bid to the Government’s Levelling Up fund to drive regeneration and growth across the town.

The first round of the bid includes £15m for a series of road improvement projects at three pinch points in the town.

The first is the Harp House roundabout – at the entrance to Southend Airport and the Airport Retail Park – which often sees traffic snarl-ups with people shopping, heading to the airport and waiting for the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Key junctions in Victoria Avenue – leading from the A127 to the town centre – could also benefit with widened roads and extended right-turn lanes to accommodate growing traffic.

The three junctions in Victoria Avenue are East Street and West Street, Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase.

Progress Road and Bellhouse Road on the A127 could also receive funding to streamline traffic.

If approved, the cash injection would be spent over three financial years, with the main work completed by March 2024.

The council will match this with £1.7m through its capital investment programme.

Ron Woodley, councillor responsible for transport, asset management and inward investment, said: “This administration is absolutely committed to improving the road infrastructure across the borough, highlighted by the incredible commitment to investing £50m on our roads and pavements over the next five years.

“We know we can always do more, and if we are able to successfully receive Government funding to increase the spend on our highways, we know we are taking a step in the right direction.

“The town has a number of pinch points, and over the last ten years we have seen numerous improvements, including Kent Elms, Tesco roundabout, and the current ongoing work at the Bell junction.

“The easier we make it to enter and leave the town by reducing journey times, the more enticing it becomes for visitors and also potential businesses.”

The fund aims to help support town centre and high street regeneration, cultural and heritage assets and highways improvement projects.

Each council can make bids that total the number of MPs within their borough, and highways authorities can also bid for specific highways projects.

Southend is eligible for a total of three funding bid applications and must match fund 10 per cent of the funding.