DRIVERS battled two-hour delays on south Essex roads as a combination of roadworks and incidents saw traffic grind to a halt.

Emergency gas works on both sides of the A127 near the Dick Turpin pub created long queues of traffic throughout the day, while a closure on the A13 added to issues for drivers.

A fallen power line saw the A13 closed between Sadlers Farm and Tarpots in both directions and miles of long queues formed which saw people stuck in traffic for up to two hours.

Simon Fryer, 48, manager of Chip and Gems a jewellery shop in the Shafers Centre, Tarpots, claimed that the disruption in Basildon and on the A13 has left his business “absolutely dead.”

He said: “The gridlock has left my business utterly dead today. People have not been able to get anywhere due to the roads being seriously blocked.

“The knock-on effect from the Basildon A127 on the Tarpots area is total, people cannot get to the car parks, people have been sat for hours in traffic and no one wants to travel to us to shop.

“This has been our quietest day in months. It hurts the small independent businesses trying to make ends meet. The impact is massive, and it honestly just hurts. People here are just fed up.”

The A13 was closed due to the fallen power line – which was repaired by Openreach – at roughly 1pm and re-opened shortly after 3pm but huge queues continued.

The A127 closure was in place for emergency gas repairs, which were due to be completed yesterday afternoon.

Motorist Sally Adams said: “Its absolute misery for drivers, a 30-minute journey took me two hours.

“The A127 has two lanes closed this morning and not a single workman has been seen.”

Castle Point councillor Rebecca Harris said: “It was utter chaos and from what I understand the way the closure was handled was unsafe.

“I have requested an urgent meeting of the regional director of Openreach as the way this closure was handled was completely unacceptable.”