A TRAFFIC headache has hit drivers using the A13 since roadworks to build a new £10million road junction as part of a gateway to the £1.5billion superport began.

The work started at Stanford-le-Hope last week and for the coming weeks one lane of the road, Southend and London bound, will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

This has led to long delays for drivers trying to use the main carriageway during those periods.

Contractors J Murphy & Sons have not said how long the lane closures will go on for.

It starts just after the Marks & Spencer petrol station Southend-bound, with the road being coned off until about a mile before the Basildon turn-off.

Dan Wilson, 28, who lives in West Hanningfield and works for a finance company, uses the A13 regularly and said he and friends who use the road are taking different routes.

He said: “This is just the first week of the roadworks and with Christmas coming up the queues are going to get a lot worse.

“This week’s lane closures have caught a lot of drivers out because you wouldn’t expect lane closures in the middle of the day.”

Contractors began the roadworks last Wednesday, starting by digging up the central reservation.

The project is expected to last a year and will see a new, three-lane roundabout, with traffic lights and a sliproad, from The Manorway, at Stanford-le-Hope, on to the A13.

The roadworks have been brought forward five years and are to help lorries get from the London Gateway port to the A13.

A spokesman for J Murphy and Sons said they wouldn’t be officially commenting on the issue, but disruption is inevitable.

Visit www.a13roadworks.co.uk