MOTORISTS have been warned of potential disruption during £200,000 gas main improvements in Rochford.

Work on renewing gas mains in the Ashingdon Road area will start in April and is expected to be completed in August.

The National Grid invested £4million in a similar scheme in Rayleigh which dragged on for two years and only finished at the end of 2009, resulting in gridlock.

Temporary road closures will bring disruption to Rochford this summer, but National Grid is hoping its collaboration with Essex Highways will minimise the impact on residents.

Steve Edwards, National Grid principle project engineer, said: “We’ve worked closely with the local authorities and others to ensure we minimise disruption by doing things such as carrying out our work at the same time as others.

“We’ll also be putting up special acoustic fencing to reduce noise levels around our sites.”

Temporary road closures will affect Oxford Road and Holt Farm Way throughout the work, and a two-way traffic light system in Ashingdon Road is expected to bring traffic problems.

The project involves replacing metallic gas mains with long-lasting plastic pipes.

Mr Edwards added: “It’s our job to connect people to the energy they use and these new gas mains will help ensure this part of Rochford continues to enjoy a safe and reliable gas supply.”

Holt Farm Infant and Junior, St Teresa’s Catholic Primary and Rochford Primary and Nursery schools, all along Ashingdon road, will also have their gas pipes changed as part of the revamp.

Work on the schools is scheduled to be completed during school holidays and Maxine Woods, head of school at Rochford Primary and Nursery, has been impressed with the level of communication so far.

She said: “We are very pleased National Grid has been very up front with all this work and is coming in to talk to our children during an assembly to explain exactly what is going to happen.”