THE "disastrous" closure of a road is causing “gridlock” throughout Southend and leaving some residents “unable to get out of their own streets”.

A major setback in the closure of Sutton Road, in Rochford, has seen it extended for at least another ten days.

Anglian Water, which is carrying out sewage pipe repair works, has said “further damage” means the road closure must be extended.

However, motorists have complained of long delays and “gridlock” throughout the area - including along Eastern Avenue and surrounding Cuckoo Corner. 

Anglian Water has issued an apology to residents and business, insisting it is doing all it can to speed up the works. 

Martin Terry, independent councillor for Thorpe, said: “It’s having a disastrous effect. It takes one little blockage, and the whole city is gridlocked.

“My brother, who lives near Cuckoo Corner, can’t even get out of his own street. Traffic is backing up everywhere.

“It puts a spotlight on how difficult Southend’s roads are. It shows we need better infrastructure, particularly if we are going to build more homes. It’s horrendous for the economy, the environment, and for people.”

Fellow ward councillor Mike Stafford, representing Residents First, says the closure is causing “enormous problems” for residents as far as Shoebury and Great Wakering.

He said: “Sutton Road is so busy, especially in the mornings. People go there to avoid using the A127, which is very busy at peak times. It’s also causing problems for businesses up that way.

"Having this closure extended is making the problem worse. But there’s no alternative.”

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “We hope to reinstate the area that is already excavated over the next few days and, in the meantime, we’ll start a second excavation to carry out further repairs. All going well, we hope to complete these works by the end of next week.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank customers and road users for their patience while we carry out this essential work. Resident access will remain in place, and we have marshals on site to manage the access points throughout the day.

"Regarding businesses in the area, I’ve been informed by our team that ‘businesses open as usual signs’ have been put in place.”