Better planning is being urged to help minimise traffic chaos in towns and villages when accidents force the A12 to close.

Essex Police is inviting town and parish councils to discuss ways to minimise congestion.

Councillors believe the police could be more efficient when deciding on road closures after incidents.

Witham Town Council’s environment committee will be sending a representative to the meeting.

Committee chairman John Goodman said: “It has a massive impact on the town and we think it is a very worthwhile cause.

“Perhaps there could be ways and means of easing traffic flows when the A12 is closed.”

Insp Steve Brewer, of Essex Police’s road policing unit, said: “Unforeseen events such as serious crashes or incidents resulting in complete closures of the A12 can bring about massive disruption and grid locking on alternative routes and those villages and towns that run adjacent to the A12."