A MAJOR study is set to take place to investigate whether the Fortune of War junction could be straightened.

County Hall says high emission levels have made the busy former roundabout a priority to improve the flow of traffic. The feasibility study will look into the potential engineering options and cost of straightening the roundabout, as well as looking at how this would impact emission levels.

Essex County Council could not specify when the study will take place, but said: “An engineering feasibility study of options to improve the Fortune of War roundabout is a priority.”

Straightening the roundabout could be an alternative to proposals to reduce the speed limit between Pound Lane near Nethermayne and The Fortune of War in Laindon from 70mph to 50mph.

This was proposed in a bid to reduce air pollution, after air quality assessments found that levels of nitrogen dioxide were exceeding the limit.

Rayleigh and Wickford Conservative parliamentary candidate, Mark Francois, has welcomed the study. He said: “I believe straightening out the old Fortune of War roundabout is the right way to go.

“On Monday, I spoke to county councillor Kevin Bentley, the deputy leader for Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, who assured me that the engineering feasibility study will go ahead next year.

“So many people use the A127 every day, that I believe this proposal could help improve their quality of life and I will continue to argue vigorously for it.”

David Flack, Labour Candidate for Rayleigh and Wickford, said: “I think it’s long overdue that the roundabout is straightened, people have been wondering for years why it hasn’t happened yet.

“I still wouldn’t write off the idea of reducing the speed limit to 50mph. Both are definitely worth a try if it means we can reduce these emissions.”

The other candidates who are standing for Rayleigh and Wickford in the general election are Paul Thorogood, Green Party candidate, and Ron Tindall, Liberal Democrat candidate.