ESSEX County Council has said it is “unlikely” a congestion charge will be put in place on the A127, after concerns were raised it was an option to tackle the road’s rising pollution.

The council released a statement putting fears to rest of a congestion charge after both Basildon and Rochford District Council received grants totalling £100,000 to conduct a study on the level of pollution on the road.

A suggested solution of a congestion charge on the A127 was aired by the Government, which was then deemed unsuitable, firstly by Basildon Council and then Essex County Council.

A spokesman for Essex County Council, said: “We are actively working with Defra, Basildon Council and Rochford District Council to explore all options to tackle air quality issues relating to the A127. Media have focused on a congestion charge as a potential solution.

“Although this is one of many options we are required to consider, we believe it is unlikely to be a suitable solution as it risks diverting traffic onto smaller and much more unsuitable roads.”

After it emerged a congestion charge had to be considered, Gavin Callaghan, Basildon’s Labour leader, launched a petition against it.

Adele Brown, Labour councillor for Fryerns, said: “Finding long term, sustainable solutions to tackling rising air pollution and its impact on health in our borough must be a priority for this council.

“This congestion charge at any point along the A127 corridor is bad for our residents, for business and it is clearly wrong for Basildon.

Conservative councillor Andrew Schrader said: “This is a serious issue and it needs addressing. The matter came before the regeneration and environment committee and I made abundantly clear, then, that the Conservatives would not be supporting a toll on the A127. It would be unfair and more to the point, it would not work.”