ANGRY drivers have hit out at traffic chaos on a road leading to a busy commuter station.

Roadworks have started on the A137 near Cattawade to widen a footpath.

But traffic lights and a one-way system has caused gridlock at rush hour around the area, close to Manningtree Railway Station.

Emma Jenkins from Brantham takes her son and husband to the station at different times each morning, but said the work left her stuck for more than half an hour.

She said: “It’s the traffic lights just past the Cattawade that appeared Monday morning right in rush hour and will now be in place for the next 28 weeks - it’s utter chaos.

“The worst traffic is Manningtree to Brantham direction, which normally takes 10 minutes but Monday and Tuesday took more than 30 minutes.

“I then travel from the A14 to Brantham returning from my work - I queued from the Brantham Bull on Monday night adding an additional 40 minutes to my journey. I could not go to collect my family from the station and neither will I be for the next 28 weeks. They are now having to walk as it will probably be quicker.”

Emma also raised concerns about school buses getting caught in the traffic.

She said: “One of our serious concerns as parents is school buses - some are just about to begin exams and the school buses are all being delayed and some exams start at 9.15am.”

A spokesman for Breheny, the civil engineering firm carrying out the work, said: “Works have commenced on the A137 for 1.8km length of footway reconstruction and widening. Traffic lights have been installed while the works are ongoing for the safety of the workforce and to ensure that pedestrians have a safe place to walk whilst the footway is excavated and replaced.

“The design for the traffic management has been agreed with Suffolk and Essex county councils, as well as the planned duration of the works. The temporary traffic lights are being manually controlled during peak periods of the day to reduce congestion as much as possible.

“We understand the disruption this is causing and we do empathise with people but safety must be our highest priority. We will do our upmost to keep the disruption to a minimum.”