Rawreth Lane Roadworks




We’ve had some complaints from local motorists about the new roadworks in Rawreth Lane. One person used the word ‘aghast’….

As far as we know, the roadworks – to complete the access to Asda – will take five weeks. And there will still need to be an adjustment to the traffic lights after that.

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  • To “aghast” and all those who have complained about the roadworks I would say, “get used to them,” this is what you can expect, particularly at peak times when Asda opens and an extra 700 vehicles per hour will use Rawreth Lane!

  • Hi Chris

    As per my Email -will somebody be held to account over this, it seems to me to be sheer incompetence given that the junction is only, I guess, 5-6 months old.

    The traffic, during the morning / evening peak is terrible and you always get somebody who blocks the Downhall Park Way / Rawreth Lane junction stopping people turning right away from the queue.

    Maybe a sizable donation to a local charity from our ASDA chums as recompense for the whole sorry mess.

  • I felt I had to comment on this latest obstruction in Rawreth Lane.

    Was there any advanced warning of these works? I don’t recall seeing the usual small yellow sign with start and finish dates. I saw the temporary lights go in, then a couple of days later it suddenly took me 20 minutes to get from the old A130 to Downhall Park Way. It’s only when I came to this website just now that I discovered that the works are scheduled to last for 5 weeks.

    Also, the phasing of these temporary traffic lights are completely wrong, and should probably have a tidal flow allowance to take into account different traffic flow directions at different times of the day.

    Finally, from what I have seen whilst driving past, all the groundworks is confined to the pavement/verge, so why is it necessary to close half the road?

    I wasn’t in favour of this store being built, but this is just insult added to injury.

  • ST1 ( and the regular readers of this site ) might be interested in the reply I received from the district engineer about the problem:

    I am replying to your email passed on to me from Rochford District Council in respect of the above works

    I am aware that plans submitted to RDC for the Asda store did not receive planning permission to enable the works associated with highway to be completed at the same time as the Wimpey Development works especially as the requirements for the Asda site necessitated a designated “left hand turn” lane to be constructed. This fact has of course extended the amount of time that roadworks have been present on Rawreth Lane during this last year.

    ECC had no control over the planning decision process of the scheme development but has had to work with both Wimpey and the Asda Construction company to ensure that disruption to the travelling public is reduced as much as possible. The highway works were planned to last 12 weeks but has been project managed to reduce that time frame down to four. Highway officials are visiting the site on a daily basis and the builders are co-operating with the changes needed, sometimes on a daily basis, to minimise the problems. Currently the temp traffic signals are being operated manually during the rush hour periods and changes are being made at a particular junction in the vicinity to enable residents to exit their road onto Rawreth Lane. It is frustrating, but generally traffic settles with drivers utilising other routes or changing their own routines to avoid being seriously delayed.

    I am advised that Asda’s are planning to open at the end of October and the road layout changes should be complete by then. With the contractor tied to a deadline I’m sure he will want to finish the works as soon as he possibly can.

    Yours sincerely

    Lyn Harvey

  • Maybe someone should write a book about how the developers with able help from the district council are ruining our town! or maybe a film ‘Carry on developing’ Sorry but what is going on here is so depressing. Why can’t the council wake and see what they are doing to the residents here.

  • Chris / Ron

    At the next local election you must major on the development issue and ensure the people of Rayleigh realise ( as per Mike’s message ) what’s going on. It might not be affecting them at the moment as it is us in the Rawreth Lane area but give it time – the next thing they will see is a block of flats / supermarket / god knows what at the end of their garden.

    All with the help of the Council Planning Dept – is there anyway we can move a vote of no confidence in the dept led by Mr Shaun Scrutton ( I’m being serious on this one ) ?

  • Tricky one isn’t it? Development, I mean. Given improved standards of living and a consequent ever-increasing ageing poplulation, we need more places to house people. What we also need are intelligent planning solutions, fair dispersal of new housing units with associated amentities and an accurate up-to date system of keeping a tally of how many of these units are being built at any given time.

  • Dear Alison

    If, as in other countries, the planning department had to visit ALL completed properties to certify that they had been built in accordance with the planning and building permissions, with the issuing of a Certificate of Approval before they could be lived in or council tax collected, then standards of compliance would be policed AND we would know what the tally was ALL the time.

    I really do wish there could be a serious debate somehere, (on a web site because the Council will not debate it) on the level of affordable housing really needed in the District. So far it is a grudging acceptance of the minimum 30% required by The Government. We might need more. Council documents actually say that all the new housing allocation should be for affordable housing.

    Anyone want to comment on the article I wrote here?


    Councillor John Mason
    Rochford Residents
    Hawkwell West Ward

  • I must add to the concerns already raised regarding the traffic on Rawreth lane during this period of work on the road – at least I assume it’s the road as there does not appear to be any notice or information as to what the work is, why it is happening and when it will finish.

    On Friday evening (5th October) all of the temporary traffic lights were red, all of them. traffic was at a standstill in both directions on Rawreth Lane and doen Downhall Park Way. Eventually the traffic began to move when someone decided to control the traffic themselves and go through the red light to get it moving. I telephoned the Police to advise them of the problem and make them aware of the potential for an accident given the ‘red’ situation, and to my horror was told they were Council lights and not their concern! Is nobody accountable for this traffic chaos – not just on this occasion but at peak times when the traffic can not move from Downhall Park Way or along Rawreth Lane? Where is the courtesy to explain the work and where is the accountability?

  • Hi Jennifer I was going to pass on your complaint to the district council via their ‘report a fault’ page on their website, but I can’t get it to work properly tonight

    (This isn’t usually a problem – I had an email this week from a resident who’d used that method to report a famaged pavement, and he was very happy that they came and fixed it).

    I’ll send an email to the council tomorrow morning and copy you in.

    The accountability lies here with the County Council – as you can see from the comment from Steve above, they say they are trying to minimise the problem.

    Of course the reason why we’re on the THIRD junction construction here is because the original road and junction were never designed to be wide enough for a supermarket….

  • My view is that the District Council do not want to produce up to date housing figures because, of course that would give the residents more information than the council would like. I have said before that to obtain this sort of information s not rocket science and the comment from Shaun Scrutton, at one of the West Area Committee meetings that to answer the question that I had asked regarding development figures was “more complicated” does not hold water. How you can outsource to the NHBC the collation of these very important stats is beyond belief.

    I agree that there should be a debate and the next series of local elections should have a basis of Open Local Government with readily available ‘important’ statistics available to the local residents, that is the only way to build confidence in our local government

  • In reply to Cllr Mason’s posting:
    Thank you as ever for an insightful and thought-provoking article on your website John. Hopefully as people take time to read and learn about the issues involved, more folk will be stirrred up to enter the debate.

    in reliquom laboramus
    (I’m allowed a little bit of Latin if it’s the motto of the town in which I live, aren’t I?) 😉

  • Steve, If a vote of no confidence in the planning department is a no go, how about a petition demanding to be given upto date figures of the all the new housing either built or approved in Rayleigh and the district. We may not get the figures but it would show our council that we mean to go on demanding more important information from rather than the bits and pieces that they deem to give us. I’m sure the Echo would help us out here.

  • Steve, Mike – I’ve never seen a council move a motion of no confidence in a department. What could be done is to move a motion of no confidence in the councillor who has responsibility for that council function. That would be either Simon Smith, Chairman of the Development Services Commitee, or Keith Hudson, who is the Cabinet member for Planning Policy and Transportation. And of course the motion wouldn’t be passed.

    But don’t feel too downcast at the moment guys, things are starting to move in our direction . The “1800 houses in Rayleigh” proposal has been dropped – at least for now- and there will be a new consultation in the spring with different figures.

    What galls me though, is that it’s hard to get any feeling from the administration that there is anything wrong at the Asda site -it seems to be regarded as a perfectly satisfactory development.

  • Chris, You have hit the nail on the head, these people have lost all reality. They do not listen to what people want or need (the people of Rayleigh do not need another supermarket) unless of course they have in mind for the town much more development then they are letting on. The one compromise they have come up with is the scaling down of the housebuilding in Rayleigh, although without accurate, up to date statistics how do we know this figure has not been breached already. I know they have a hard job satisfying everyone BUT all they are currently satisying is the developers (housing and supermarkets) but not the residents. At this rate of dissatisfaction the Tories will be losing a lot of power in the next locals.

    Development has to happen to cater for all of the growing local population (as Alison points out) however they have not done this in a sensible or sensitive way. Frankly the whole situation is a mess and a mess made by the District Council, there is absolutely no one else to blame. The least they can do is apologise and put things right.

  • Let’s face it ,we were not very well advised by our officers at the outline planning stage (I don’t think any councillors were aware that we were granting the go-ahead for a store of up to 2500 squ. metres) BUT don’t forget that planning permission for this monster was only granted on appeal by one of our dear government’s inspectors who, of course, are totally independent.

  • Tp add insult to injury the vehicles being used to tarmac the road are now using Downhall Park Way / Kelso Close as a turning circle (and on occasion the pavement on Kelso Close).

  • Can I play devils advocate and ask where else are they supposed to turn? I’m sure a three point turn in Rawreth Lane would cause just a little too much congestion, and the roundabout at Hambros Hill is not suitable for such vehicles.

  • And if they are facing Rawreth Lane, or in the direction of Hambro Hill, how can they turn in ASDA, unless they reverse all the way back up to ASDA, turn around and reverse back to where they need to be to face the direction they need to be going!!! erm, not very practical is it. Off course, they could have just left the road unlaid!

  • I think the point here is that the construction of something like this rather large project affects a lot of people. This is why I believe local residents need to be listened to and their view taken into account. I think we are all on the same side here so I don’t know why I sense the differing of opinion.

    This building of ASDA and constant associated roadworks has affected most of us and I wonder if we have benefited let alone compensated. Is having a supermarket so local a good thing? Views differ. I for one am yet to be convinced. I certainly feel that residents lives have been effected, if it has not been noise, its dust/dirt on cars or its disruption in terms of roadworks. Is it just a case that people sometimes have to suffer for the benefit of others? Well if so who made this decision?

  • My drive has been off an unmade road for almost 2 years – how many other people can actually say that? I have had 3 weeks were I was unable to access my drive. I was told that the road outside my drive would be tarmaced over Thursday and Friday this week, I was woken at 4:55am this morning with the delivery of equipment to do the tarmacing – NO ONE in Rawreth Lane has had this level of inconvenience, and do you know what, I really am not that bothered by it all – in the grand scheme of what is life, these are all minor set backs, and I have bigger things to worry about, such as my mothers failing health. Quiet frankly I have benefitted from the ASDA store, my shopping bill has been reduced, I am not having to drive for 15 minutes to a Tesco store in either Basildon or Southend, therefore I am saving money on fuel.

    What has ASDA given Rayleigh – for starters, jobs. Secondly residents of Rayleigh now have an option as to where they shop. People this end of Rayleigh now have somewhere to get a pint of milk at 9pm without the extortionate prices of the Jet garage.

    It really is high time that people stop whining about the roadworks and ASDA and get some prospective.

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