DRIVERS can expect traffic chaos when closures hit the A127 in Southend.

There will be lane closures overnight tonight and tomorrow night - and between August 27 and September 2, there will be lane closures, London-bound, for seven days.

These will allow workers from gas company, Cadent, to dig trenches in the central reservation at The Bell in order to investigate pipe layouts.

The overnight closures this week will see highways workers address a rutted and uneven surface thought to be causing noise and safety issues.

The imminent closures are causing concern among south Essex drivers.

Katie Fynes, 29, of Victoria Road, said: “Roadworks on the daily commute is the last thing you need. When the Kent Elms lane closures were in place, I had to allow an extra hour for my commute down the A127 and I imagine I will have to do the same again.

“I appreciate they need doing and there is probably never a good time but I just hope the improvements they make will be worth it as that hasn’t always been the case in the past with Southend Council.”

This is the next major roads project, following the completion of works at the Kent Elms junction.

Independent councillor Martin Terry said: “It will inevitably cause problems.

“It will impact the residents I represent and it will impact me.

“It is never ideal, and disagreeable for motorists, but the council has picked a good time, after the bank holiday and before schools restart.”

Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “I am not going to shy away from alerting residents and commuters to the prospect of increasing activity at The Bell junction over the coming months, as we finalise plans to upgrade this important junction and get traffic flowing better in the future.”