ROADWORKS that are causing gridlock are set to continue for a year, the council has confirmed.

Temporary traffic lights are in place at a damaged bridge on Roding Lane, Chigwell, which needs repairs.

But Essex County Council is not due to start the work until next year and predicts it will be finished by “autumn 2013.”

Pauline Guest, of nearby Scotland Road, Buckhurst Hill, who travels to work in Chigwell, said: “The traffic chaos that it is causing is appalling.

“It can take around 25 minutes to get through the daily traffic jams from Chigwell to the lights, though coming the other way from Buckhurst Hill it isn’t so bad.

“I have now started to travel home the long way round via Woodford simply to avoid the congestion.”

She said she had called the council’s general enquiry line after becoming frustrated with the situation.

“Apparently, the bridge is unsafe, so until they have the money to fix it, they have decided to reduce the weight going over it by making it single lane traffic,” she said.

The council has yet to officially comment on this claim.

Another commuter, Barry Samms, said: “If you live in Buckhurst Hill you will understand that there is only one road over the M11 for a considerable distance.

“I dread to think what the emergency services are doing.”

A council spokesman said: “Design work for the repairs started in October, with construction likely to commence in spring 2013 and the repairs completed by autumn 2013.

“The temporary lights will remain in place from now until the works are completed.

“Essex Highways are monitoring the lights to ensure that the light timing is effective for the volume of traffic.

“Residents are encouraged to contact regarding any specific concerns about the bridge.”

The council has apologised for inconvenience caused by the work.