RESIDENTS are celebrating after two of Canvey’s biggest businesses signed a £1million contract to build a road, taking lorries and tankers away from residential areas.

Liquid storage company Oikos and gas firm Calor agreed work can start on a private link road between Haven Road and Roscommon Way.

This means large tankers will no longer pass through housing estates in Thames Road, Thorney Bay Road and Long Road, on their way to the sites in Haven Road.

People living in the area had previously raised concerns about lorries full of gas travelling close to homes and schools.

Ray Howard, borough and county councillor for Canvey, has been campaigning on the issue for years.

He said: “I’m delighted about that. It’s ludicrous for gas canisters to be travelling through residential streets.

“I was happy when planning permission was granted in February but disappointed it had been delayed.

“I’m sure my constituents and Canvey Junior School, where I’ve been a governor for 48 years, will be delighted to learn they won’t have massive gas tankers travelling close by.”

Now the contract has been signed, construction is expected to begin in July, and be finished by Christmas.

The road will pass through land leased by Oikos, and both companies say it represents part of their “significant and on-going” investment on the island.

Oikos and Calor have also agreed a long-term arrangement to share access to infrastructure they both use.

Colin Horton, managing director of Oikos, said: “When Calor came to us and asked if we could help make life easier for the people of Canvey we jumped at the chance.

“Linking Calor to Roscommon Way via Haven Road is common sense and will do a lot of good for the island.”

Graeme Lockwood, Calor’s national terminals manager, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree with Oikos for the construction of the new road for road tankers to access the Calor terminal. I would like thank the local residents for their patience and understanding.”