ROADS bosses have been forced to install CCTV at a roadworks site after motorists were seen vandalising traffic lights, smashing the safety barriers and abusing workers.

The Echo has reported how motorists were enduring two-hour journeys due to two sets of roadworks in the Hullbridge area – in Watery Lane and Rawreth Lane.

The works are part of infrastructure plans for two major housing developments due to be built in the area.

But now Essex Highways has had to install CCTV cameras at the site in Watery Lane due to repeated incidents between frustrated motorists and highways workers.

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “Recently the traffic lights at the roadworks were deliberately and dangerously switched off, putting road users in danger and at risk of head-on collisions.

“In response we put metal mesh fencing panels around the controlling generator to prevent that happening again, but someone smashed the fencing links and switched the traffic lights off again.

“In addition to this, staff working on site witnessed cones being kicked out of the way and barriers smashed. Police have also been notified of an assault on a worker.

“CCTV cameras have now been installed and any further incidents will be reported again to Essex Police.”

The incidents has caused outrage with a Highways spokesman condemning the behaviour.

The spokesman added: “Anyone is perfectly entitled to contact the site team or their county councillor if they are unhappy with roadworks arrangements, but criminal damage, violence, and threats are never acceptable in any circumstances and will not be tolerated. Those working on site are simply doing their job and absolutely deserve to be safe at work.”

The concern was echoed in the community.

Michael Hoy, councillor for Hullbridge said: “These workers are just doing their job and are doing a good job. It’s wrong to take it out on the road workers – it isn’t there fault.”