A NEW relief road to take pressure off a village centre has opened.

The Southminster north-west relief road runs between Steeple Road and the roundabout at Queen Street and Scotts Hill, where vehicles can join the Southfield Way south-west relief road.

It provides an alternative route for through traffic wanting to avoid Southminster village centre, which has seen a massive increase in heavy goods vehicles in recent years.

The road was provided by David Wilson homes as part of their Blackwater Reach development, and was formally named David Fisher Way.

Mr Fisher was a local businessman, farmer, and parish, district and county councillor, who chaired the county highways committee.

He was also a magistrate and was involved in the reparations of the sea defences around the marshes following the floods of 1953 and remained a great advocate of flood prevention.

Southminster councillor Adrian Fluker proposed naming the road after Mr Fisher.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, he said: “David Fisher did a huge amount for Southminster and we both shared a common vision of relieving the village centre of traffic and particularly HGVs.

"It was therefore a fitting tribute to David to name the road after him and an honour to make that proposal and have it accepted.”

He added: "“The Blackwater Reach development has brought forward lots of positives for the village including affordable housing and the final stage will see the delivery of a new medical centre for the village.”

Ray Houghton, head of planning at David Wilson Homes, said: “As a company we always work with local communities to ensure that the infrastructure we bring forward reflects the needs of local people.”