ANGRY Billericay residents have slammed "badly placed signs" which forced "16 drivers to turn around in the street" as work takes place on the pothole ridden road.

Hillside Road has previously been branded the worst road in the borough for potholes and residents have spent years pleading for action.

Work has now begun, but residents are still unimpressed as they claim signs have been poorly positioned and are catching out drivers at the last minute - forcing them to back up and turn around onto a busy road.

The diversion in place means residents should use Chapel Street rather than Hillside Road.

“Hillside is a very busy road and I hate to think how many had to turn around,” Billericay resident, David Clark said.

“I turned down Hillside to go home, 150 yards down the hill, there was a sign which advised the road ahead was closed due to roadworks."

Mr Clarke was part of a queue of 16 cars earlier this week that all had to attempt to turn around in the street and drive back to a set of "poorly positioned temporary traffic lights".

Mr Clarke added: "I spoke to a lad sitting in a highways van and asked him why and he said there was a sign advising the road was closed: I agree, but the sign was incorrectly placed.

Billericay Tory councillor, Phil Turner said he “sympathised with residents who find signage inadequate,” adding that he’s had this discussion with colleagues at Essex County Council frequently.

“The contractor leaves to chance, I’ve had it where signage has been wrong and it causes a huge amount of anxiety and stress,” Mr Turner said.

“This isn’t rocket science and if this is our contractor, they must be doing it all the time. Signage doesn’t have to be inconvenient.

Mr Turner added that similar situations have taken place on Mountnessing Bridge, where traffic was not adequately directed to travel down a single lane, causing a potential safety hazard.

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “A number of repairs are being carried out on Hillside Road in Billericay for potholes that were reported to Essex Highways by local residents.

“It is often necessary to close roads so repairs can be carried out safely, protecting members of the public and the Essex Highways crews carrying out the works."