Roadworks that caused a town to grind to a halt have finished early.

On July 30 Alderton Hill in Loughton was closed while the weakened footpath was strengthened and utilities diverted to the carriageway.

Although a diversion was put in place, motorists endured severe delays.

At the end of last week Essex Highways announced the works had been finished and the road would reopen again, ahead of schedule.

One less-than-impressed driver was Cllr Stephen Murray, town mayor of Loughton.

He said: "Good news to finish early but the programme scheduling was very generous.

"Residents cannot understand why this work took five weeks.

"No evening or night time work at all and very little over the weekends.

"This caused massive disruption to the town of Loughton.

"30- to 40 minute journeys through Loughton became the norm during August."