CASTLE Point Council has voted to go ahead with plans to make an unpopular Benfleet one-way scheme permanent.

Since the scheme outside Benfleet station came into operation around a year ago, residents claim there has been no improvement to traffic flow at all.

The trial scheme, designed to ease traffic around at the train station, sees cars now unable to turn right from the mini-roundabout to enter Benfleet train station and are instead going round via School Lane and Station Road.

Canvey resident, Marion Brockleback, 64, said: “It’s not improved anything whatsoever, there are tailbacks every single morning all the way from Benfleet.

“You get to the roundabout okay but as soon as you have to come off it you’re praying someone will stop and let you go.

“The council keep throwing money into things that are not working.

“We need an underpass or flyover.”

Former councillor for Canvey independent party, Ray Howard MBE, says the scheme is making things better than what they were previously and believes it has improved pedestrian safety.

However, Mr Howard feels the real issue to be addressed, which he has expressed on many occasions, is a new road to get off of the island.

He said: “The volume of traffic that we have got is becoming a nightmare everywhere.

“The volume of cars on Canvey per household is higher due to Benfleet station being so far away.

“Benfleet train station is the largest commuting station to Fenchurch Street.

“We have tried different things and different routes, but in my view this is working a lot better.

“I sympathise with the people but put in the balance I do believe it’s a better system than what we were experiencing.”

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “Councillors on the Castle Point local highway panel voted by majority to progress the current experimental traffic regulation order for the Benfleet Station one-way scheme, for decision to Essex County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, Councillor Kevin Bentley.

“Councillor Bentley will consider all the consultation responses sent in by members of the public, including supportive comments and those stating that there have been consequential extra delays to local traffic.

“The scheme will continue in effect while the decision on whether to implement it permanently is pending.”