WITH all the roadworks affecting south Essex you could say this is just a sign of the times.

But try telling that to people living in Benfleet who now have to put up with the mother of all road signs.

The huge sign, which rises above houses in Oak Walk and neighbouring roads, tells people on the newly-renovated A13 which lanes to get in for Chelmsford and Canvey.

Robbie Robertson, 75, of Oak Walk, said: “I went to look at the plans for the roadworks before they started and nowhere was there any indication this huge sign would be at the end of my garden. It’s a total monstrosity and I would have complained about it if it had been on there, but it just came from nowhere overnight a couple of weeks ago.

“It is massive and the lights from the cars reflect off the sign, right into my house. Its ridiculous.”

Mr Roberston, who has lived at the house since 1985, claimed the price of his home would also decrease because of the sign, but Rob Butterworth, who manages Fisks estate agents, at Tarpots, in Benfleet, said the A13 in general would be the problem when selling the house.

He added: “People are very particular about where they buy homes and nobody will buy a house near a main road unless they are happy with it.

“I don’t think the sign is going to have any effect on house prices, but overall I think when the roadworks are over it may bring more people to Benfleet.

“The market is good at the moment and we are actively looking for properties like bungalows because they are in demand.

“It would be hard to sell a house near the A13 anyway because of its location. It will only attract particular buyers.”

Derrick Louis, county councillor responsible for highways and transportation, said: “I sympathise with the concerns raised over the position of the sign.

“Drawings showing the positions of these gantry signs were included as part of the original planning consent for Sadlers Farm.

“These drawings were made available for the public to view during the consultation period in 2007.

“If residents have concerns about these signs I would ask them to contact us directly and we would be happy to look into it further.”