FRUSTRATED motorists and businesses have received a boost with the news a road closure will be lifted early to alleviate congestion.

Essex County Council has announced Ipswich Road south will reopen today, ahead of schedule.

The busy section of road was closed at the start of January as part of the long-running £6.5 million revamp of the roads system in the area to allow for piling works to take place.

The closure was meant to last six weeks, however bad weather delayed the works and reopening was rescheduled for Monday.

But a decision has been made to bring an end to the closure early to “benefit residents and businesses”. County Hall says workers will have to return in the future to complete wall strengthening works, with further updates set to follow in due course.

Kevin Bentley, county councillor responsible for infrastructure, said: “By opening Ipswich Road south this week it will benefit residents and businesses. Please continue to support out brilliant businesses, who are open as usual.

"We will continue to explore every possible way to minimise the impact of the works and reduce traffic management in the area.”

The closure is the latest stage of the roadworks scheme, which will see double roundabouts in Harwich Road and Ipswich Road replaced with single roundabouts.

Since works began in September 2018 there has been delays for drivers and concern for businesses.

Rollerworld, on the Eastgates Industrial Estate, installed makeshift signs to let customers know they were still open during the latest closure. However, Colchester Council warned the firm of fines if the signs were not removed.

Anne Khan, co-owner of the firm, confirmed the business had now been fined £100. “This seems unfair as we are only trying to help our business and those businesses around us suffering because of the roadworks,” she said.

A spokesman for Colchester council said: “While we recognise the frustration and prolonged disruption residents and businesses have experienced during the roadworks, we do have a duty as the planning authority to investigate incidents of fly-posting when they are reported to us.

“Whilst we have been careful to issue the minimum fine possible, despite the amount of flyposting which took place, we had no choice but to enforce the law in this case.”