Part of Ipswich Road has been closed after drivers flouted a closure for roadworks.

Essex Highways and contractors carrying out the work closed the road between Fenwick Drive and the Ipswich Road roundabout this afternoon.

They had warned if drivers did not adhere to the restrictions, they would take further action.

READ MORE: Contractors - We will close road if you flout rules

It had been planned for the northbound carriageway to be closed from February 18 to March 11.

But Essex Highways said 'too many drivers' were ignoring the signs and meeting traffic head on.

In a tweet they said: "Ipswich Rd (south) #Colchester NOW CLOSED BOTH WAYS as emergency safety measure for public and workers as too many drivers ignoring closure, driving past signs & meeting other traffic head-on. Closed now to 15 March.

"Please see diversion map, allow extra time @yourcolchester."

Both sides of Ipswich Road has been due to be closed between Fenwick Drive and the Ipswich Road roundabout from March 11 to March 15.

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “Staff from Eurovia, the contractors, have observed and sometimes had to intervene with many instances of drivers dangerously and carelessly ignoring the “road closed” and “no through road” signs.

“This has sometimes involved head-on confrontations with vehicles coming the right way and then very awkward U-turns, causing delays.

“The Eurovia site supervisor has taken the decision, entirely correctly, to immediately close the road this morning for the safety of the public and those Eurovia and utilities contractor staff working in the road.

“Utilities (water mains) work is continuing each weekday between 7am and 8pm in the road, but the road will remain fully closed now, due to trenches and holes dug, for four weeks instead of three for safety reasons. Diversion signs are being put up for alternative route.”