VILLAGES are being “destroyed” by HGVs which are being forced off the A12 because of resurfacing work.

Residents in Rivenhall say there has been a sharp increase in the number of large vehicles cutting through the village due to the closure of the A12.

Highways England is shutting the road four days a week throughout November to resurface the carriageway between Witham and Kelvedon.

The £4 million project is being done because the existing concrete surface, which was laid in the 1960s, has a lifespan of 50 years and needs replacing.

The official diversion route is between Boreham and Marks Tey but HGV drivers are said to be ignoring this and attempting to cut through Rivenhall instead.

But the large vehicles have become stuck along Oak Road because of a low bridge and have then been causing “chaos” when attempting to turn around on narrow roads.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Frank Ramsden, of Rickstones Road, said: “It’s been a complete nightmare. We’ve had the police down here and handing out fines, it’s been so bad.

“They had to shut the road at one point because an HGV knocked a lamp-post over on to the road.

“Road signs and farmers’ gates have also been hit and destroyed.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“There are warning signs about the low bridge but the drivers are too busy looking at their sat navs to notice.

“One of the electronic signs isn’t working at the moment either which isn’t helping.”

HGVs are also being blamed for the damage done to a small crossing along Little Braxted Lane, near Witham.

Braintree and Witham Times:

The bridge is now closed for five weeks for emergency repairs.

Little Braxted Parish Council says better signage is needed to warn HGV drivers not to use rural roads.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Highways England says it has done all it can to warn people about the carriageway closures between Witham and Kelvedon.

New signs were put up over the weekend to warn motorists about the diversion and urging them not to follow sat navs.

Programme delivery manager Karl Brooks said: “We work hard to keep disruption from our roadworks to a minimum, and do everything we can to encourage drivers to stick to the approved diversions that we use when the A12 is closed.

“The diversion routes used have been agreed with the police and the council and are clearly signposted. We also publicise all diversions well in advance via signs on the roads, the Traffic England website and traffic bulletins on radio stations.

“We appreciate living near roadworks is not easy, and we are grateful for people’s patience while we deliver this important repair and maintenance work.

“We will continue to listen to feedback.”