PLANS to use a Canvey sports centre as a park and ride site for the 2012 Olympics could lead to traffic chaos, it is feared.

Essex County Council has revealed Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, in Somnes Avenue, will be one of three park and ride sites for spectators watching the downhill mountain biking at Hadleigh Castle.

It is expected 14,000 people will travel to the event by car during the two-day event and the proposal has sparked fears they will reduce Canvey’s overstretched roads to complete gridlock.

Canvey councillor Janice Payne said: “It’s going to be ridiculous. We’ve got enough problems with traffic as it is.

“What happens if there is an accident, how are emergency services going to get on to the island?”

There are only two access roads on and off the island – Canvey Way and Ferry Road – and they are often heavy with traffic during rush hours.

Speaking at Canvey West neighbourhood forum, Essex County Council’s Barbara Mills told residents traffic problems would be kept to a minimum.

She said: “We are not going to pretend it will be no disruption – clearly there will – but we will do all we can to ensure the traffic is managed efficiently.

“There will be other sites to the north and west of Hadleigh Castle and we are not expecting Canvey to take the bulk of the traffic.”

The council said it is negotiating with landowners to secure the other sites but cannot reveal where they will be.