Traffic update for A127 The Bell junction

Published Wednesday, 28th August 2019

Men at work sign

Lane closures on the A127 Bell Junction will continue to be in place until Monday and are likely to cause disruption. Motorists are advised to plan extra time to their journeys.

On Tuesday 27 August, workers from gas company, Cadent / Triio, started digging trenches in the central reserve of the A127 at The Bell in Prittlewell in order to investigate the location of their pipes beneath the road. This work requires lane closures for approximately seven days along the London-bound carriageway. Importantly, it will help inform how the gas pipes can be relocated in future to allow the junction to be upgraded.

Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “Over a number of years we have successfully fought for and won external funding to carry out important improvements to pinch-point junctions across our growing town.

“These inevitably cause disruption and I am not going to shy away from alerting local 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.

“We will shortly be inviting contractors to bid to carry out the work at The Bell and our proposed designs for the new junction are progressing well. However, whatever the final design, we are a highly urbanised area and so it will be necessary to move a large number of underground pipes and cables away from the highway and this will inevitably cause some disruption.

“With the Kent Elms works now complete, it is important to stress that lessons have been learnt from that project, and that is why we have been carrying out preparatory work, and why Cadent will be investigating the locations of their pipes before major work starts.

“I am currently having discussions with our highways teams as to how we time street works on the A127 and weighing up the pros and cons of short, sharp bursts of activity that get the job done quicker versus longer periods of off-peak-only activity which will draw out the disruption to residents and motorists alike.

“At the same time, I fully recognise that upgrading junctions alone is not a long-term solution. We are a growing town, with a growing airport and a major business park under construction near Southend Airport. We need fit-for-future infrastructure and I will continue to work with other South Essex authorities to make a compelling business case for major investment in a new road serving our town.”