Severe delays  on the Army and Navy junction could be even worse once schools go back in September, campaigners have warned.

Dave Allen from Great Baddow East Neighbourhood Association (GBENA) said traffic could be a “nightmare” given the extra traffic that Chelmsford will experience in less than a month, as well as pressure from the new Aldi store which is due to open in October.

Research from conducted in 2017 showed then that the week starting August 7 was the quietest of the year – with motorists able to shave an average of 25 minutes a week off their drive time.

Just a week later the roads are still considerably quieter than the average commuting day, with many people taking their annual holiday now.

But while that lull in traffic will be allowing the heavily used Army and Navy junction to cope without a functioning flyover, the clock is ticking.

Schools in Essex start to go back in the first week of September when a huge spike in traffic is expected.

Mr Allen said that lengthy delays seen at the Army and Navy on Wednesday morning could be even more extreme and frequent.

The Army and Navy junction is operating at 97 per cent in the morning peak and 95 per cent in the afternoon peak.

Each day, up to 60,000 vehicles use the junction and 10,000 of those vehicles use the flyover.

Mr Allen said: “They (ECC) are very much aware of the problems coming round the corner.

“There is a meeting on August 28 to discuss whether it is feasible to do a patch up job or best to bite the bullet and use the money from that and press on with designing and getting a new junction done.

“They will tell us at the task force meeting they are looking at alternative routes and signage.

“Hopefully they are trying to get traffic to avoid that junction because lots of traffic can’t avoid it.

“They are looking to move what they can around.”

The flyover was closed indefinitely at the end of July after structural concerns that followed expansion of the metal frame because of the hot spell.

It was also closed for a long spell last summer.

Mr Allen said: “This time they are going to have to deal with traffic outside the summer holidays when the flyover is closed.

“And Christmas retail in the city centre – how happy is Bond Street going be, bearing in mind you have all the other traffic coming from the Riverside development?

“You have the Aldi store and more traffic coming onto Parkway from October when it’s meant to be opening.

“It’s going to be a nightmare with Aldi opening and the flyover closed, not to mention all the school traffic coming and then Christmas traffic.

“There is an accident on the A12 at least once a week in this area which forces more traffic down there.”