Main road in Southend to close this weekend for £5m Bell junction improvements

A MAIN road in Southend will be closed this weekend for electricity and gas works, the council has warned.

Hobleythick Lane will be completely closed from late on Saturday, November 23, until the early hours of Monday, November 25.

The closure is to facilitate the relocation of electricity cables and gas pipes, as part of works taking place at The Bell junction.

The £5million improvement programme at The Bell is being designed to ‘manage traffic better and contribute to improved air quality’.

Southend Council said a diversion would be ‘clearly signposted’ during the closure.

From Monday, one of the northbound lanes of Hobleythick Lane will then remain closed for another two-and-a-half weeks, until Friday, December 13.

The closure will fund from Midhurst Avenue to the traffic lights at The Bell junction.

This closure is also to enable the re-routing of gas pipes, which will require the digging up of the pedestrian footpath.

The bus stop on Hobleythick Lane will be suspended during the works.

A council spokesman said: “Whilst these works are ongoing, traffic management systems will be monitored to reduce congestion.

“Vehicles will still be able to turn left onto Prince Avenue, straight ahead onto Rochford Road and right onto Prince Avenue.”

Peter Geraghty, the council’s head of planning and transport, said the short-term disruption was to enable long-term improvements to traffic flow.

He explained: “The Bell Junction improvements are part of our continued work to ensure we keep traffic flowing and the economy growing.

“We have a rapidly expanding airport and work progressing well on the construction of the Airport Business Park, so we need to plan not only for today’s traffic levels but to ensure our roads are fit for the future.

“In August, Cadent carried out a number of checks on the underground pipes to better prepare for when the works begin and, following those inspections, have highlighted specific pipes that need diverting.

“We apologise in advance for any disruption caused, but I must reiterate that these works are vital to our plans for enhancing The Bell junction.”

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]