A major roads scheme in Southend has been completed amid hopes it will improve traffic and air quality.

The long-running roadworks at the Bell junction along the A127 has seen a number of changes made to one of the busiest parts of the borough.

They are:

  • A new dedicated left-turn lane onto Rochford Road
  • The removal of the existing footbridge
  • An extension to the right-turn lane onto Hobleythick Lane
  • Banning the right-turn onto Rochford Road in order to free up more “green light” time for motorists going straight ahead along the A127 in both directions
  • Improved pedestrian facilities including new crossing facilities on Rochford Road and Hobleythick Lane

With the highways improvements now completed, Southend Council’s parks department will carry out landscaping works in the autumn once the new planting season begins.

Funding for The Bell junction improvements (£4.3m) came from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, which the council successfully bid for through the South Essex Local Enterprise Partnership.

The rest (£720K) of the cash came from the council’s capital budget.

Transport boss Ron Woodley said: “I am delighted to announce the vital works to improve The Bell junction have now been completed.

“This much needed improvement follows on from previous junction schemes across key A127 routes and is a key milestone in our Southend 2050 roadmap.

“This work will benefit the Borough greatly, including residents commuting in and out by car, visitors coming into the area, and to support our growing economy and projects like Airport Business Park Southend.

“Delivering this project has been a priority of this administration, and I am pleased to see the highways works finished on budget.”

He added: “I would like to thank residents for their patience throughout the project, as there were a number of necessary road and lane closures to accommodate the works.

“The support we have received from local businesses and residents has been fantastic, and I am pleased they acknowledge the impact these improvements will have for them.

“Whilst the main improvement works are completed, there may be times where workers are on site dealing with any snagging, which is common for projects of this size. There will also be further landscaping works carried out in the autumn once the new planting season arrives.”

Madeleine Bishop, contracts manager for Eurovia, said: “This project has been a huge success.

“Eurovia have worked closely with Southend Council and local stakeholders to ensure the success of the scheme, completing the works within the outlined programme.

“The junction will see improved traffic flow, safe surface level pedestrian crossings and new lighting throughout.

“All in all, this has been a fantastic piece of partnership work with the council and will provide an improved look and feel to the local community here.”