Roadworks which have been left unattended on a busy town centre road have been labelled ‘unacceptable’.

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris says discussions have been held with UK Power Networks – which is responsible for the work – and expects temporary traffic lights to be removed today (Thursday, November 11).

Lights have been installed along High Road, Benfleet, for several weeks and are said to have caused ‘mayhem’ for motorists.

A footpath has been dug up alongside the road which has resulted in one side of the carriageway being closed off.

Ms Harris has hit out at UK Power Networks for keeping part of the road closed – even though no work has been taking place.

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In an update on the situation, she said: “The leader of the council and Benfleet Councillor Andrew Sheldon and I spent a long time on the phone with UK Power Networks yesterday regarding the mayhem their works have caused traffic in Benfleet over recent weeks.

“I am pleased to say that we have now been told the road will be made safe and the traffic control signals on the site should be removed by close of play today.

“It is completely unacceptable that UK Power Networks did not look to provide a temporary solution to allow free traffic flow while no work was going on in the trenches on the footpaths.”

UK Power Networks has confirmed the temporary traffic lights will be removed by the end of today. 

A spokesman said: "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by our essential works in High Road, Benfleet.

"This has been to repair safely an underground cable fault and was delayed by a requirement for specialist electrical equipment to be used.

"Care was taken during the work to ensure that power supplies remained uninterrupted for the local area.

"All electrical work on site has now been completed ahead of the scheduled end date.

"The first of the impacted footways has been reinstated this afternoon meaning the temporary traffic lights will not be required this evening.

"The traffic management will return tomorrow [Friday] for the second footway to be restored safely after which the lights will be removed as soon as possible."