DRIVERS on the A127 will have to watch out when a new speed limit and average speed cameras come into force in two days.

From Thursday, there will be a 50mph speed limit on a 3.8-mile stretch of the road, and the controversial average speed cameras will be switched on.

Drivers travelling in both directions between the Dick Turpin pub and the Southend borough boundary will have to keep their cars to 50mph.

Between Nevendon and the Dick Turpin pub the current 70mph will stay in place, but both stretches will be watched by the new average cameras.

Essex County Council has said motorists can be fined from Thursday if they break the limit.

But transport chiefs say a period of grace could be brought in to allow drivers more time to adjust. However, they refused to say how long this could last.

Scott Wilson, spokesman for Essex County Council, said: “From Thursday the speed limits and cameras are technically enforceable.

“We will be assessing how motorists adjust to the new speed limit before deciding when to make them fully operational.

“It’s about ensuring motorists are aware of the speed limit before the full force of the system is used. It’s not about revenue raising. It’s to ensure that motorists drive safely along the A127, one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Essex.”

Drivers caught speeding along the entire stretch of road will only be penalised once for that journey.

Posts holding the new cameras have been put up along a 6.2 mile stretch of the road and the county council hopes the speed cameras will reduce the number of accidents on the road and smooth the traffic flow at busy times.

Basildon taxi driver Ralph Morgan said he approved of the cameras, but doubted the impact they would have on rush hour traffic.

He said: “I think they’re a good idea, because you see a lot of boy racers when you’re driving between Southend and Basildon in the early hours.

“But I can’t see how it’s going to improve the flow of traffic during the rush hours, because the sheer volume of traffic is massive.”