LONG-suffering motorists will have to wait until next year to put their foot down on the newly widened lanes on the A13, it has been revealed.
The A13 Stanford-le-Hope by-pass has been widened from two to three lanes in both directions, from the junction with the A128 Orsett Cock roundabout.
However, a council update has revealed the current 50mph limit will not be raised to 70mph until January 2023 when the scheme is expected to be fully completed.
Work initially began on the project in 2014.
Delays in installing lighting, which should have been completed in July, have been cited for the hold up.
A report, to councillors on Thurrock’s planning, transport, regeneration overview and scrutiny committee, said:
“Progress on site in 2022 has been good with the road open with all lanes running on the main carriageway at 50mph on May 2. Orsett Cock Roundabout was opened at 30mph until the traffic lights were commissioned on May 26 and currently operates at 50mph.
“The road is running very well, and the main benefits of the project are being realised by creating additional capacity to reduce congestion, improve journey times, facilitate growth and improve access to key strategic economic hubs.”
The report said some complaints had been received regarding the national speed limit.
It added: “This requires replacement of power feeder pillars and connections for the street lighting at the eastern extent of the works. This is now forecast for January 23 due to national supply chain delays for manufactured equipment.
“Mitigations being explored including rolling speed restriction.”
The report said a 70mph limit before the work is completed had been ruled out on safety grounds but that it is being “re-evaluated and could be accepted by Thurrock Council on a risk basis.
It adds: “More than £13 million has been invested locally, by using regional suppliers and businesses based within ten miles of the project – supporting the local economy at a time when this is needed more than ever.”
The widening scheme means there is a new dedicated lane on the A13 westbound entry slip road at the Stanford-le-Hope junction so traffic can merge with the A13 westbound carriageway more easily.
Four bridges have been knocked down and replaced as part of the work.