MORE than £100,000 could be spent filling a subway with rubble to stop troublemakers hanging out in it.

Campaigners want the underpass under Eagle Way, in Shoebury, to be blocked-off, because it has become a beacon for antisocial behaviour.

Bosses at Southend Council have totted up the cost of the scheme and the possibility of installing a new crossing on the road the subway currently bypasses.

But they concluded the six-figure sum needed to bankroll the idea was unlikely to become available for at least another year.

Mike Assenheim, an independent councillor for Shoebury, who has led the campaign to close the subway, said that was not good enough.

He said: “I first raised this issue several years ago, even before I was a councillor.

“If it carries on, they’ll just keep putting it off and putting it off.

“Something needs to be done now, even if it’s only gating off the subway for now. It can be filled in later.”

Mr Assenheim first asked for the subway to be closed in September 2010, following complaints from nearby Friars Primary School.

“Teachers claimed the underpass had become a magnet for intimidating groups of teenagers and a virtual no-go zone after dark.

Mr Assenheim said: “People simply do not use it at night. It has become a real problem spot.”

Council chiefs agreed to look into the idea as a member’s request, which allows councillors to suggest minor changes to the town’s roads. However, bosses concluded there was no case for replacing the subway with a new crossing, on the grounds of road safety.

That means, if it is to go ahead at all, it will have to be included in the council’s capital programme for 2013/14, meaning no action until next April at the earliest.

Andrew Meddle, the council’s head of planning and transport, said: “It is clear there is no evidence to justify the proposal from a highways perspective.

“It is accepted that there are more than just highways considerations which are of concern here.

“However, at a time when resources for maintaining and improving the network are stretched, this scheme does not represent good value for the council.”