Drivers and pedestrians have called for a rethink on a set of temporary traffic lights they fear will cause a crash.

The lights, in Colchester Road, Witham, have been put up at Catholic Bridge while work takes place to reinforce the structure.

Pedestrians are unable to walk under the bridge during works, so a temporary crossing was put in place on the road.

But drivers say the position of the lights has narrowed the bridge and is forcing them to drive out into the middle of the road towards oncoming traffic.

James Abbott, county councillor for Witham North, has asked Essex County Council to review the positioning of the lights.

Mr Abbott said: “I’m not against the lights being there at all, if there’s work going on which means pedestrians can’t walk underneath it, there needs to be a way for them to cross.

“But I do think the county council need to review whether there is anywhere else the lights can be put because their positioning at the moment is forcing some vehicles to pull out into the centre of the road when traffic is flowing in both directions which is obviously increasing the chances of a collision.”

The route is used by heavy-goods vehicles going to and from Freebournes Industrial Estate and also joining and leaving the A12 at Witham North.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “We are urgently checking the signs and driver behaviour on the bridge. The lights are designed only to restrict traffic on this busy road when a pedestrian has pressed the crossing button.

“There are signs showing the road narrowing on the bridge, but if some drivers are interpreting the situation as clearance to drive fast through in the middle of the road then that may cause potential risk.

“We will take remedial action, perhaps including moving each light further away from the centre of the bridge and putting in a centre line barrier on the bridge, if appropriate.”

“Pedestrian access under the bridge has been stopped for the duration of the works, planned to be complete by winter 2018.”