Motorists are set to contend with increased levels of traffic when a section of the Queensway underpass is closed next week.

The southbound carriageway of the busy Southend road will be off limits from April 20 until April 30, excluding the weekend, between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

The closure will come into force due to highway inspection works being undertaken on the section of the underpass.

Diversions will direct traffic along the sliproad to Porters Grange roundabout before rejoining Queensway at the end of the underpass.

Motorists travelling northbound, however, will not be affected.

The temporary restrictions come after we reported, yesterday, ambitious £575million plans to regenerate the estate would lead to the Queensway underpass being closed.

The decision to close the underpass has been a major topic of controversy in the Queensway regeneration project, which is set to bring 1,760 new homes.

Southend Council and Swan Housing are behind the 10-year blueprint, involving the demolition of the Quantock, Chiltern, Malvern and Pennine tower blocks and the residential maisonettes fronting Sutton Road.

Plans include to replace them with modern homes, shops, cafes, offices, a nursery, recording studios, a brewery and bakery.

Proposals have been put forward to “fill in” the Queensway underpass, leaving a four-lane “tree-lined boulevard” with crossings.

>Two Southend roads will be partly closed while Network Rail complete maintainance of trees over the railway tracks later this month.

Vehicles will be prohibited from proceeding on a section of Retreat Road and Leonard Road, while motorists will also be unable to park, stop, wait, load or unload due to the restrictions.

The closure will take place on April 26.

An alternative route will be signposted via Retreat Road, Canewdon Road and Cossington Road.

>Roadworks are set to result in a section of a South Benfleet road being off limits for a three-day period.

Crescent Road will be closed between its two junctions with Grove Road from April 19.

Motorists are advised to follow an alternative route via Grove Road.