A NEW £10million road junction is to be built off the A13 as part of a gateway to the £1.5billion south Essex superport.

The huge new roadwork project at Stanford-le-Hope, will begin in October and last for a year. It will start at the same time roadworks are due to resume at Sadlers Farm, in Benfleet .

A new, three-lane roundabout, with traffic lights and a sliproad, from The Manorway, at Stanford-le-Hope, on to the A13, will be the most prominent part of the design.

The improvements are part of a £150million funding arrangement which superport site owner DP World, has to carry out as part of its planning agreement with Thurrock Council.

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

Mark Coxshall, Thurrock Conservative ward councillor for Corringham and Fobbing, said drivers would not be too inconvenienced by the work.

He said: “This is a really important junction and this is really good news.

“These improvements will make life much easier on the traffic going from DP World on to the A13 and then on with their journeys.

“I am pleased this huge scheme has been brought forward by five years because it will make the traffic system in Stanford-le-Hope much better for residents.

“The majority of the work is happening at the side of the A13 so we hope drivers will not be too disrupted.”

As part of the planning arrangement DP World will also be improving Stanford-le-Hope High Street, the railway and putting in a new bus station and turnaround area, because it’s expected people working at the superport will commute to the town by train.

Drivers are worried as the work is starting at the same time as those at Sadlers Farm, which were postponed to avoid disruption to the Olympic mountain biking event, held at Hadleigh Country Park earlier this month.

Kevin Thomas, 56, of London Road, Benfleet, who works in Grays, said: “I am a bit wary of the roadworks starting again at Sadlers Farm, but I am hoping the worst delays and disruptions are over.

“It was chaos for such a long time and now drivers think they are over.

“We will just have to wait and see how disruptive these at Stanford-le-Hope are. Hopefully it won’t go on as long as Sadlers Farm.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Essex Highways will work with partners in Thurrock to look closely at any possible traffic management measures if they are required.”