MOTORISTS are facing three weeks of further misery on the A127 after drainage works closed off a busy junction.

Southend Council has brought in contractors Eurovia to work on a manhole in the centre of the Kent Elms junction. It comes as work is underway to widen the stretch from two lanes to three.

In order to keep the majority of the A127 junction open, traffic has been banned from turning right into Bridgewater Drive.

The announcement of further disruption comes a week after the Echo revealed the expansion work has been delayed until September.

Nigel Darrah, 55, of Prince Avenue, Southend, said motorists were given no warning of the latest closure - which began on Tuesday evening.

He said: “I must admit it would have been nice to have been informed that they were going to close it.

“I didn’t even know. They have put signs up now but there was no advanced notice. Usually we get a piece of paper through the door.

“It means that people wanting to turn right have to do so onto Bellhouse Lane, where there is usually queue anyway. Now the traffic goes all the way back to Progress Road.

“I came through there yesterday and actually decided to turn left onto Bellhouse Road, go round through Rayleigh and come up to Kent Elms on Rayleigh Road.

“There was still a queue there. The junction was at near gridlock.

“We are just all fed up with everything that is going on. There’s obstructions all over the place and it’s a complete black-out at night as they have moved the street lights now. It’s getting to be a farce to be honest.”

James Courtenay, Tory ward councillor for Blenheim Park, where Kent Elms is situated, said the timing is unfortunate.

He added: “Some residents have contacted me regarding these latest works that are restricting drivers from turning right onto Bridgewater Drive.

“It is unfortunate the impact it is having on residents there.

“Not being able to turn right is obviously an inconvenience and puts pressure on the rest of the already strained network.

“People understand that it has to take place but they are frustrated at the delays.

“I have made representations to the council on their behalf to make sure that this work is short and residents can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

“It is short-term disruption that is quite painful for the surrounding residents.”

Eurovia was approached for comment but did not respond by the time the Echo went to print.

Work to widen the junction to three lanes was initially due to end in May.