DRIVERS travelling between Colchester and Tendring could face five months of traffic on a road which is “already a nightmare”.

Preparation works for a new rapid transit lane started in Clingoe Hill on Monday and will continue until May before the main construction works start in early summer.

Essex Highways says the new lane will “improve journey time, speed and reliability”.

A notice published by Essex Highways warns drivers of traffic management and lane closures while the current works take place.

Gazette: Delays - roadworks on Clingoe Hill could cause months of traffic chaosDelays - roadworks on Clingoe Hill could cause months of traffic chaos (Image: Glyn Baker)

“These will take place at night where possible to avoid serious impact on traffic, however there may be some instances of daytime lane closures which will ensure the work can be done as efficiently and safely as possible,” it said.

The preparation works include vegetation clearance and diverting utilities.

Wivenhoe councillor Mark Cory is “seriously worried” about the impact the works will have on traffic on Clingoe Hill, which he says is “already a nightmare”.

He has also raised concerns about the “environmental impact of losing vegetation”, the risk of flash flooding, and the feasibility of the rapid transit system without any reconfiguration of the Greenstead roundabout.

Gazette: Worried - county councillor Mark CoryWorried - county councillor Mark Cory

Mr Cory, who is also the deputy leader of Colchester Council and a county councillor for the area, was frustrated he wasn’t notified about the Clingoe Hill works and has since received an apology from the boss of Essex Highways.

He said: “I am not happy. I welcome the apology from the Conservative cabinet member for highways at County Hall, but this is another failure to communicate and I am very concerned about the impact of these works.

“I am frustrated and let down because Essex County Council have failed to inform local councillors and residents.

“The plans for the rapid transport system have been worked on for years, then suddenly, a week before the work begins, we receive an email from Colchester Council informing us of Essex County Council’s plans.

“Residents have not been informed on the works and what specifically will happen with Clingoe Hill. I will now do the county council’s job for them and spread the word about these plans.”

Essex Highways was invited to comment.